Road charging going Dutch
GPS tracking systems are to be fitted to all of the country's vehicles, with drivers being charged for each kilometre they travel.
Other motoring taxes to be slashed
The scheme is scheduled to start in 2012, when other motoring taxes will be dramatically reduced to compensate. Holland's car purchase tax – which adds up to 25% to the price of a car – will be abolished, as will annual road tax charges.
The Dutch Government estimates that six out of 10 drivers will be better off under the pay-as-you-drive system, and that overall tax revenues will remain the same.
Details of each journey will be recorded by a billing agency, with drivers charged around €0.07 (about 6p) per kilometre. Charges will be increased on busy roads and during peak hours. Lorries, vans and cars that emit higher levels of CO2 will also be charged more.
Safer, cleaner and clearer roads
Holland suffers from some of the worst congestion in northern Europe, and the government hopes the scheme will reduce peak traffic levels by up to 15%. It also estimates that the reduced number of vehicles on the roads should reduce accidents by around 7%, while cutting overall CO2 emissions by around 10%.
The Dutch scheme is certain to be watched with interest by other nations, including Britain, that have already considered similar road-charging schemes.