Ask your MEPs to oppose cross border mega trucks traffic across EU?
1. The European Commission is publishing its revision of the directive 96/53 which governs the weight and dimensions of HGVs on 15th April, which by allowing cross border mega trucks traffic, will usher in mega trucks through the back door by default. This clause stating that 25 metre mega trucks should be allowed to cross international borders between consenting countries will have a domino effect.
Furthermore, no analysis of the congestion, safety and pollution impacts of cross border traffic has been carried out by the Commission which is contrary to its own rules. This also means that the infrastructure costs to cater for these massive vehicles have not been costed, nor funded. At a time when the EU is trying to reduce costs, recommending a policy which will cost taypayers billions is misplaced.
Main messages are:-
See also press release http://www.freightonrail.org.uk/PressRelease11-04-2013.htm
2. However we support the elements of the directive proposing better rather than bigger lorries:-
a) Improved aerodynamic designs to reduce accidents and improve fuel efficiency as long as they are compatible with rail and water freight.
b) Better enforcement of road regulations - As part of this process we believe it is essential that HGVs should have weight sensors on board 6 which the Commission is not proposing at the moment.
c) Approval of 45ft containers
1. The UK Government has already buckled to pressure from road haulage industry and is now carrying out trials of 7ft longer lorries in the UK.
2. Commission’s own research stated that mega trucks are more dangerous than existing HGVs– TML Effects of adapting the rules on weights and dimensions of HGVs P14 penultimate line 6 November 2008 DGTREN website.
3. The Austrian study by Asfinag calculates 5.3 billion euros for the highways and federal roads (25 m/60 t).2009 in Austria alone.
4. In the Netherlands the weight limit on 25 metre mega trucks has been increased from 50 to 60 tonnes with Finland increasing the weight limit to 76 tonnes; Sweden is now trialling 30 metre (100ft) HGVs with an 80 tonne weight limit between urban areas.
5. Normal non dual carriageway roads are not designed for 25 metre HGVs and are therefore not suitable for these vehicles which have to perform difficult manoeuvres and come into contact with cyclists and pedestrians. The Dutch trials stated that mega trucks should only be allowed on roads with separate infrastructure for bikes which does not exist in the UK and in most member states.
6. FTA Logistics report 2012 stated that UK road side weight checks had a 58% overloading rate.