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Germany to permanently nationalise truck toll company

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BERLIN (Reuters) – The German government will permanently nationalise motorway truck toll company Toll Collect, Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer said on Tuesday, adding that this would be cheaper than hiring a private operator.

The government’s contract with Toll Collect, the world’s first satellite-based truck toll system, expired on Aug. 31. Until then Toll Collect had been 45 percent-owned by German carmaker Daimler <DAIGn.DE>, 45 percent by Deutsche Telekom <DTEGn.DE> and 10 percent by Vinci <SGEF.PA> unit Cofiroute.

The government temporarily nationalised the company when the contract expired but had planned to start a bidding process to find a new operator.

Scheuer said the process had been cancelled and the bidders had been informed about the government’s decision.

“The last few months have shown that the government is capable of guaranteeing that the toll system can operate well – the system is working perfectly,” Scheuer said.

The toll is applied to trucks weighing at least 7.5 tonnes and is levied on about 52,000 kilometres of roads in Germany.

(Reporting by Michelle Martin, editing by Ed Osmond)

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