Mega trucks threat from Europe.
27th March 2012
At a heated European Parliament Transport Committee meeting last night (26 March), Europe’s top transport official, Commissioner, Siim Kallas, was forced to rethink his proposals for a re-interpretation of the European rules to allow cross border traffic of mega trucks between consenting countries, delaying the possibility of mega trucks on UK roads.
At the moment, countries are only permitted to have larger HGVs, which do not comply with existing international regulations, to operate within their own borders 1 . Allowing cross border traffic of mega trucks would mean that these 25 metre, 60 tonne vehicles could in time come to the UK by default as the road haulage industry will claim that it is being unfairly discriminated against without them.
Notes to editors
1. Currently in the UK lorries the vast majority of lorries are 16.50 metres long, while around 2% of lorries are 18.75 metres, all with a weight limit of 44 tonnes. So called mega trucks which would be fifty per cent longer and a third heavier than existing lorries, operate in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands; in Sweden they are trialing 30 metre long lorries so if the rules are further relaxed with no maximum limit set, 30 metre lorries could be adopted here over time.
3. - December 2011 when the Commission stated that directive is currently understood as prohibiting in general cross border transport with vehicles deviating from the maximum weights and dimensions – Consultation Paper Review of Directive 96/53/EC 21 Dec 2011
4. Commission stated in December 2011 that the impact of mega trucks had not been properly assessed. The discussion and experience so far have not produced a mature position as to the long-term impact of a move towards such vehicles, notably as regards infrastructure, road safety, environment and modal shift. The Commission will take stock of all relevant information on this subject dimensions – Consultation Paper Review of Directive 96/53/EC 21 Dec 2011
[i] TRL research for UK Government – Table 27 Assessments of results of handling characteristiscs according to Knight 2008 and Wohrmann 2008 Therefore the extra articulation will reduce turning space at slow speed, but this same feature increases the likelihood of a “snake” occurring at higher speeds, for example changing lane on a dual carriageway.
[ii] TML Effects of adapting the rules on weights and dimensions of HGVs P14 penultimate line 6 November 2008 DGTREN website
[iii] Question by Ismail Ertug (H-000226/11): Read more
[iv] Read more