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EU Transport Committee puts brakes on mega trucks.

18th March 2014

The European Transport Committee’s rejection of the Commission proposal 1 to liberalise the use of mega trucks 2 across Europe, pending further research, is welcomed by Freight on Rail 3. The Transport Committee is requiring detailed research 4 on the safety, environmental, and congestion impacts before allowing further use of massive 82ft trucks across Europe 4.

Philippa Edmunds, Freight on Rail Manager said “The rejection of Europe-wide use of mega trucks, which are three times as long as a double decker bus and equivalent to the weight of 53 cars, is a major win for society and the economy.

She added that “Mega trucks would result in more road fatalities 5, more road congestion, more pollution and additional road damage as well as undermining rail freight, the low carbon energy efficient safer alternative. European bureaucrats have not evaluated the impacts and cost to society of this policy, contrary to European rules.”

Notes to Editors

1. The vote on the weights and dimensions directive 96/53 took place this morning in the Parliament Transport Committee and is scheduled to go before the full Parliament on 14th April. The Council decision, where individual Member States vote, is expected after the European Elections.

2. Mega trucks are 82ft (25 metres long) and normally 60 tonnes in weight although Finland now allows 76 tonnes and Sweden is trialling 30 metre 80 tonne trucks.

3. Freight on Rail, a partnership of Campaign for Better Transport, the rail freight industry, the Transport Trade Unions and the Rail Freight Group, works to promote the economic, safety and environmental benefits of rail freight.

4. An impact assessment of mega trucks will be carried out by the European Commission by 2016 and must include analysis of the following:- road safety, modal shift, congestion, environmental and infrastructure costs.

5. The European Commission’s own research stated that individual mega trucks are more dangerous than existing HGVs. Source TML Effects of adapting the rules on weights and dimensions of HGVs  P14 penultimate line 6 November 2008 DGTREN website.

Existing HGVs are involved in 52% of fatal motorway accidents even though they make up 11% of the traffic - Traffic statistics table TRA0104, Accident statistics Table RAS 30017, both DfT  published 2013 for 2012 figures




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