Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Freight Transport Association Calls For Relaxation On Weekend Lorry Bans

European Policies Impede Measures To Deal With Ash Problems
Shipping News Feature

UK / EUROPE – The UK’s Freight Transport Association (FTA) has called for those European countries that employ bans on road haulage at weekends to lift them whilst the ash crisis persists.

Currently France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Spain all have various restrictions on trucks using the roads at weekends, but now the current situation demands an amendment according to the FTA’s Jo Tanner.

“Like passenger carriers, many of our members are using mainland Spain as a hub and then moving goods from there to the UK by road and rail. However, the success of these contingency plans could be severely hampered by the weekend lorry bans that are in place in many parts of Europe. We are calling on those countries to deactivate those bans and help us keep the goods and produce moving,” she said.

At the moment perishable goods are able to be shipped during restricted times, but the FTA believes that these should be extended to frozen products as well as manufacturing components, postage and some pharmaceuticals.

The FTA proposes that exemptions be made to lorries which are carrying these goods which would normally have to go by air. They suggest that drivers must be in possession of an air cargo waybill to prove the consignment was due to go by air originally if driving during ban times.

Tanner added: “While we should be able to keep fresh produce moving, this is about more than mange tout. We need cooperation across Europe to make sure that the impact of this unprecedented situation is minimised as much as possible.”