Away through German toll history: the toll odyssey.
In 1990: Germany, fresh after reunification, had an idea: “Let’s introduce a toll for trucks to cover road costs!” Many thought it was a particularly clever idea to make foreign trucks in particular pay.
EU court: “Uh, stop a bit, dear Germans. You can’t just charge foreign trucks – that’s against EU law!”
2003: After much debate and drafting, the Bundestag proudly announces, “Our toll system is almost ready! Let’s go in August 2003!” But then…
Technical problems: “Oh dear, but there we have a traffic jam in the system. This is not going to work!”
2004: “Well, everyone deserves a second chance. New plan: we start in January 2005! And this time we mean business.”
January 2005: And indeed, the toll system launches. But initially only on highways. This leads to an unexpected twist.
Highway evasion: “Why should I pay when I can just take federal highways? Ha!”
2011: “We can’t leave it like this,” the Bundestag thought to itself. “Four-lane federal highways will now also be subject to tolls!”
2015: A few more years pass, and people realize, “We need more revenue!” And so more federal highways become toll roads.
2018: “Enough of half measures! ALL federal highways will be subject to tolls!”
In the midst of all the hoopla, Germany began to boast, “With the tolls, we earn up to 2 billion more per year!”
Other countries: “Oh, that sounds interesting. Maybe we’ll buy the system?” After some consideration, “No, thanks. We’ll pass.”
Toll Collect, the system operator, scratches its head: “Um, sorry, there were some technical problems and delays… Small mistake.”
Germany, with raised eyebrow: “A few? A PAIR?”
This, dear readers, is how the turbulent and winding history of the German autobahn toll unfolded. A constant up and down, marked by technical glitches, legal disputes and unexpected twists. It was a journey – almost as adventurous as driving on a German autobahn! 😂