Freight News, Road

IRU calls for coordinated end to containment

[ April 20, 2020   //   ]

The International Road Transport Union (IRU) has called for a coordinated approach in lifting containment on cross-border transport in the European Union. It says that a lack of coordination by member states has been a fundamental difficulty in setting up and managing restrictions and border control so far.

It follows publication of the European Union’s own ‘road map’ for lifting the current COVID-19 restrictions across Europe and progressively reopening certain sectors.

IRU general delegate, Raluca Marian, said: “The road map is a first but still very general step, and we need to see more pragmatic guidelines, to restore transport services, connectivity and movement of people and goods. Governments have failed to coordinate their strategies and actions so far and we have to avoid that this happens again during the recovery phase.”

IRU says that so-called Green lanes offering faster border crossings for freight are still not a reality everywhere and long waiting times continue to pose a challenge. It warns that once the de-confinement process commences, more and more traffic, including private passenger cars, will overwhelm borders.

While some member states have formed convoys of trucks at borders with police escorts, this is contrary to the concept of green lanes and is also unsafe, the IRU claims.

Freight drivers should also be given priority access to protective and disinfection equipment.