The Superior Court of Justice of the Basque Country (TSJPV) has canceled the toll that, since the beginning of years, Gipuzkoa has been charging trucks on the N-1 and A-15, as reported today by the Spanish Confederation of Freight Transport (CETM) and the National Federation of Transport Associations of Spain (Fenadismer).
The Court understands that the collection of the fee does not comply with the Law and condemns the Gipuzkoa Provincial Council and the General Meetings to pay the costas of process. The parties now have one month to file a cassation appeal before the Supreme.
The contentious-administrative appeal that gave rise to this judgment was presented on January 12, 2017 by the Spanish Confederation of Goods Transport (CETM) With the rest of the member organizations of the National Transportation Committee (CNTC), against Regional Regulation 7/2016, of December 15, which regulated the fee for the use of certain sections of the high-capacity A-15 and NI highways in Gipuzkoa.
To adopt this failure, the court projects in its resolution the “community jurisprudence” and considers that “the provincial highway policy designed by the Provincial Council with the purpose of reorganizing the traffic of heavy vehicles on its road network, does not legitimize” the “toll system “questioned.
The judicial text clarifies that the adopted system “produces a indirect discrimination of transit transport with origin and / or destination outside of Gipuzkoa respecting internal traffic “. The document recalls, in this regard, that” the gantries of the longest sections are located at the north and south ends of Gipuzkoa (in the AP-8 at the height of Irun and at the NI in Etzegarate), so that all internal traffic in the NI, except for the small section of Andoain, is exempt from paying tolls “.
This circumstance means that “those who make the complete route, passing through the three collection points, must pay the total fee, compared to the transport that originates and ends in Gipuzkoa, which will pay at most one -only- toll, and meager , only if it goes through Andoain. “
“The affected group is mostly from outside Gipuzkoa, which is the one that generally crosses the three sections,” the sentence emphasizes.
The Gipuzkoa Provincial Council will appeal the sentence
For its part, the Gipuzkoa Provincial Council has announced that it will continue to collect tolls and that it will appeal against the judgment of the Superior Court of Justice of the Basque Country (TSJPV).
The deputy of Road Infrastructures, Aintzane Oiarbide, has expressed, in a statement, its “totally disagree” with the sentence and has affirmed that the system will continue working “for all the effects”, reason why the collection of the toll “will not undergo any variation as a consequence of this judicial decision”.
The Provincial Council has ensured that the provincial legal services are already working on the filing of a cassation appeal before the Supreme Court.
Oiarbide has assured that before implementing the system, the Provincial Council carried out “an exhaustive study” to ensure the legality of the toll and that, after sending it to the European Commission, it offered its “legal guarantee”.
The reactions have not been long in coming. Fenadismer has qualified “very positively” this sentence “by estimating the main arguments raised by the associations in their day against said measure”, and has trusted that the convicted public administrations “will refrain from appealing said judicial decision in cassation, since they are impeccably founded. “
In this sense, Fenadismer has announced that it will carry out “a detailed legal analysis of the consequences of said ruling in order to enable the entire amount collected during the three months of validity of the new toll to be returned to the carriers affected by said measure now declared illegal. “
The CETM, for its part, welcomes the publication of this judgment, which it alleges “highlights the tremendous injustice that was committed by subjecting only a part of the transport of goods by road (vehicles of more than 3.5 tons of MMA) to these tolls. “
The Gipuzkoa transport business association Guitrans has considered the sentence “positive”, although it has expressed concern over the fact that the court argues, in its ruling, that the annulled rule entailed a favorable treatment for Gipuzkoan carriers, which is “non-existent” in the opinion of this organization .
For its part, the union Three has stated, in a note, that “it is evident that from the beginning the toll has been a botch”, since the Provincial Council “has spent millions of euros from all the people of Gipuzkoa on studies or on software that does not work well”. Hiru has demanded that the County Council stop collecting the toll because it is “illegal”.
The group of PNV in the General Meetings of Gipuzkoa it has ensured that the regional norm that regulates the collection of tolls has “all the necessary legal, technical and political guarantees, both at the level of the Gipuzkoan institutions and of the European organizations, which legitimize its application”.