Freight News, Road

Not the right time for free-for-all on Europe’s roads, says FTA

[ May 2, 2014   //   ]

Now is not the right time to free up the cabotage trucking market in Europe, says the Freight Transport Association in response to recent moves by Brussels (see FBJ 3 2014, page 1).

Commenting on the recent European Commission (EC) report on integrating the internal market for road transport, FTA points out that, despite the Government’s recent abandonment of fuel duty increases, UK operators still have some of the highest operating costs in Europe. Foreign registered vehicles would have a competitive advantage, “yet evidence suggests their compliance rates are not as good as UK operators” said FTA director of policy Karen Dee.
According to FTA commissioned research from NERA Economic Consulting, UK freight operators face higher costs than most other EU states – largely as a result of higher fuel duties.

Ms Dee added that while the recently introduced UK HGV Road User Levy would go some way to rebalance the competitive situation, “there is still a long way to go to ensure that it becomes a level playing field for all.”
FTA said that enforcement authorities in member states should step up their efforts in enforcing existing legislation more effectively and consistently and that the Commission and the EU could help by clarifying rules that are understood, interpreted and implemented differently in different member states.



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