As a successful exporter and tourist destination at the heart of Europe, Germany has set out to shape and modernize its transport system to enable the best possible use to be made thereof, particularly with a view to improving people's quality of life, environmental friendliness and cost efficiency.
In view of the limited financial resources and lack of space available, this cannot be achieved simply by building new transport routes. What we need to do is to create the conditions to make more efficient use of the existing network. We also want to make transport an attractive target for innovation, for example the use of satellite technology.
This is why our future transport strategy aims at optimizing the entire system. The efficient networking of transport modes, the safeguarding of transport variety and the use of new logistics concepts help us achieve this end. Therefore the German Government is pursuing an integrated transport policy, i.e. the integration of investment-policy, regulatory and innovation-policy instruments encompassing all modes of transport. Only this package of coordinated measures will lead to tangible improvements in the transport system.
But transport is not only a vital factor in Europe's competitiveness. It is also in turn influenced to a great extent by Europe. We will thus pay even greater attention to the European repercussions of our transport policy and to the interaction of European and national decision-making.
Federal Trunk Roads
The Federal Republic of Germany is Europe's No. 1 transit country. Germany's inter-urban road network has a length of more than 231,000 kilometres. Federal trunk roads presently account for about 53,400 kilometres (23%) of this network, with motorways making up around 12,500 kilometres and federal highways making up around 41,000 kilometres. The federal trunk roads are of vital and continuously increasing importance for Germany due to the country's location at the heart of Europe. They absorb more than half of total national traffic.
Current estimates assume a twofold increase in goods transport in Germany to 2050, much of which will be likely to use the roads even in the long term. Passenger transport, too, will to a considerable degree depend on the car in spite of long-term demographic changes.
If Germany's trunk roads are to remain modern and of a high capacity, gaps in the network must be closed and motorways widened, the existing infrastructure – a valuable public asset – must be maintained in a good condition and interlinkages with the other modes must be optimized.
Highly developed economies such as Germany need to establish close links between private and public transport in order to ensure highly efficient passenger and freight transport operations, as well as to achieve the German Government's climate-policy objectives.
HGV toll, ban on HGV at weekends, school holidays
HGV motorway toll
Since 2005 HGV over 12 tonnes have had to pay a toll for using German motorways, depending on the mileage, due to the fact that they cause much greater surface wear and tear than cars. Fees are calculated electronically, on the move, using a state-of-the-art satellite system. For details see www.tollcollect.de
HGV driving bans
Vehicles weighing more than 7.5t and any commercial vehicle with a trailer are not allowed to travel on German roads on Sundays and on public holidays between midnight and 10 p.m. This ban applies to all German roads (in line with para 30.3 sentence 1 of the Highway Code (StVO)).
Exceptions to the ban are:
- trucks carrying containers participating in "combined transport" (by rail or ship), with limits being placed on the distance to be carried by road,
- trucks carrying goods to or from ports ("combined transport"), with limits being placed on the distance to be carried by road,
- HGV transporting perishable foodstuffs (and empty return trips), and
- trucks travelling on manoeuvres under the Federal Requisitioning Act (Bundesleistungsgesetz)
(for the full text of the Highway Code (in German) see
/ Verkehr, Straße, Straßenverkehrs-Ordnung.
Under the administrative regulation relating to the Highway Code, the following vehicles are also exempt from the driving ban:
- trucks without a trailer,
- trucks with a small auxiliary trailer, and
- vehicles where the objects carried form part of the inventory (e.g. show vehicles).
Under para 46.1.7 of the Highway Code, the Land traffic authorities may issue specific applicants with general or individual permits; however, the administrative regulation allows such permits only in emergencies, and economic or competition reasons alone are not sufficient grounds for issuance.
Alongside the general ban on HGV on Sundays and public holidays, there is also a ban on heavy lorries using certain, well-frequented motorways and (a small number of) highways on Saturdays during the school holidays in July and August, between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Labour Day (1 May), Ascension Day, Whit Monday, Corpus Christi (Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland only), Day of German Unity (3 October), Reformation Day (31 October,Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia only), All Saints' Day (Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland only), Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Deutscher Autobahnatlas in Internet - Saksamaa LV kiirteed