Limits to megatrucks and use of better cabins will improve safety on EU roads
The European Parliament today endorsed an agreement with member states to put an end to cross-border transport with the so-called 'megatrucks' or 'gigaliners', which are 25 metres long and can weigh up to 60 tons.
The lead negotiator in the Parliament, S&D MEP Jörg Leichtfried, said:
"The directive approved today is much stronger than the weak proposal put forward by the Commission. The attempt to further liberalise cross-border operations was rejected by both Parliament and Council, which means that the text of the current directive will remain. This is a good compromise, given the initial controversy on the issue. The situation will not change for the Scandinavian countries or UK and Ireland, but it does not make any sense to adapt all of Europe's roads to accommodate these gigantic trucks, which are a threat both to safety and to the environment."
"All sectors should contribute to the transition to a sustainable economy and to an energy union. Heavy goods vehicles are responsible for about 26% of road-transport CO2 emissions in Europe and their fuel efficiency has hardly improved over the last 20 years. This directive not only limits the size and weight of trucks on EU roads but it also promotes combined road-rail or road-ship transport operations for standard 45-foot containers and encourages a review of existing provisions on combined transport."
S&D spokesperson on transport, Ismail Ertug, said:
"Our group has achieved its main goals in this directive, even if the negotiations were hard both within the Parliament and then with member states represented in the Council. But we made sure that there will be no general EU-wide permission for the ' gigaliners' to circulate.
"Secondly, we have set the framework for greener and safer truck cabins. These cabins will not only reduce CO2 emissions through improved aerodynamics, but they will allow for a wider field of vision through the installation of bigger windshields, thus improving safety for drivers.
"We regret that the Council insisted on delaying the introduction of the improved cabins until at least 2020 for purely economic reasons. These new cabins will have a huge impact on our way towards the EU's ambitious 'vision zero-zero road fatalities' by 2050. But at least we managed to counterbalance those lobbies who wanted to delay the introduction even further!"