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Brussels takes a fresh look at truck dimensions

[ April 16, 2013   //   ]

The European Commission proposed new rules on truck weights and dimensions on 15 April, including allowing cross-border operation of 60-tonne vehicles. The current limit for trucks in international transport, in Directive 96/53/EC, is 18.75 metres and 40 tonnes, limits which are seen as inhibiting the use of new technology or aerodynamic farings, which frequently add weight and increase length.

Currently, the Directive only permits national circulation of 60-tonne trucks which are currently allowed in Denmark, Sweden and Finland. However, the new version of the directive would include a new legal interpretation that would allow cross-border operation of the larger vehicles between two member states that allow them.

However, the move is likely to run into opposition from environmental and rail groups, which see cross-border operation of the larger vehicles as a Trojan Horse that could ultimately see countries such as the UK compelled to allow the larger weight trucks on their roads.

Freight on Rail said, for example: “The new legislation should not allow cross border traffic of mega trucks as this policy  would lead to mega trucks across Europe by default over time. In countries which allow mega trucks, national limits should be set prohibiting mega trucks of 25 metres from using non dual carriageway or motorways to protect cyclists, pedestrians and general traffic.”

Freight on Rail Manager, Philippa Edmunds said,” Unless Europe sets maximum weights and length limits for HGVs in international traffic in its current revision of the legislation, there will be more needless fatal collisions, more road congestion and more pollution.

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