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Reaction to unauthorised trials of mega trucks

Responding to the upcoming unauthorised trial of mega trucks 1 Freight on Rail says Denby Transport is ignoring UK Government policy 2 and putting other road users at extra risk.

Philippa Edmunds Freight on Rail Manager said, “Denby Transport is breaking the spirit of the law, if not the law itself and ignoring public opinion 3. While rail and road complement each other, large amounts of long distance freight can be more sustainably 4 and more safely 5 carried by rail than in even larger lorries. Mega trucks would simply divert freight from more sustainable modes thereby increasing road congestion and pollution 6 and would result in freight being carried even further along unsuitable local roads 7 in bigger lorries."

Mega Trucks
German Trials: photo courtesy of Allianz pro Schiene/Kraufmann

For further information
Philippa Edmunds
Phone 020 8241 9982
mobile 07981 881410
web site

Notes to editors

  1. It was announced in Commercial Motor on 12th November that Denby Transport that will trial mega trucks 25.25 metres long having received legal advice that they are allowed to.
  2. Secretary of Transport for Transport Ruth Kelly rejected trials of 25 metre 60 tonne LHVs in June 2008
  3. Mori Poll for Aslef in August 2007 showed that 75% of people in UK are opposed to mega trucks
  4. Rail freight has a much better environmental record than road (Source: DfT Logistics Perspective Dec 2008 p 8 section 10) UK rail freight produces 70% less Carbon dioxide emissions than the equivalent road journey.
  5. Rail freight is safer than long-distance road freight using motorway and A roads, as HGVs are over 3 times more likely to be involved in fatal accidents than cars due to a combination of size, lack of proper enforcement of drivers hours, vehicle overloading and differing foreign operating standards. (Source: Road Statistics 2008, Tables 3.2 and 3.6, Road Freight Statistics 2008 Section 5, both UK Department for Transport.)
    The European Commission's own research stated that mega trucks are individually more dangerous than standard HGVs. Source TML Effects of adapting the rules on weights and dimensions of HGVs as established within directive 96/53/EC P14 penultimate line 6 November 2008 DGTREN website
  6. An average freight train can remove 50 long distance HGVs from the roads - Network Rail 2009
  7. Mega trucks would need local access to distribution depots off motorways/dual carriageways and the reality is there is no mechanism to control what roads mega trucks would use.
  8. Bendy buses, which are 18 metres long, cause more than twice as many injuries as any other bus and are therefore being phased out. Source Evening Standard June 7th 2007
  9. Freight on Rail is a partnership working to promote the shift to rail freight. Members are Direct Rail Services, DB Schenker, Freightliner, ASLEF, RMT, TSSA, UNITE, Rail Freight Group and Campaign for Better Transport.


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