Toll operator seeks refund after delay

Berlin. The company operating a new toll system for heavy trucks is demanding compensation from the government due to a delay in the introduction of the system.

German Transport Minister Manfred Stolpe's decision to postpone the launch from August 31 to November 2 has upset Berlin-based toll operator Toll Collect.

Although the physically the system will be up and running on August 31, actual toll collections have been delayed. As a result, Toll Collect Managing Director Michael Rummel is asking the government for a refund.

"According to our contract we can invoice for operating expenses," Rummel said. Michael Zirpel, a spokesman for the ministry of transport, did not confirm Rummel's statement.

Toll Collect is backed by DaimlerChrysler Services, Deutsche Telekom and the French motorway operator Cofiroute.

One reason for the delay is a supply backlog for the on-board computers.

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