Wednesday, June 1, 2011

MEP and FSB Condemn Freight Trailer Changes

Proposals Cause Concern For UK Hauliers
Shipping News Feature

UK / EUROPE – The UK’s Federation of Small Business (FSB) and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the East Midlands, Derek Clark, are combining their efforts to combat proposals by the EU to limit the height of new trucks and trailers to 4m (13 feet). The current UK limit is 4.9m (16 feet).

According to Richard Hyslop, the EU international affairs and defence policy adviser to the Federation of Small Businesses:

“There are 100,000 haulage companies in the United Kingdom and tall lorries of up to 4.9 metres are a common sight on the roads of the United Kingdom - in fact they are almost unique to the United Kingdom.

“Few, if any, countries have road infrastructures which can accommodate these vehicles. This has enabled many businesses in the United Kingdom to double-deck their lorries, gaining extra cubic capacity vertically."

The FSB state that should the EU’s new limits be implemented then approximately 7,000 double-decked trailers in use in the UK would have to be phased out and replaced by standard trailers.

According to their calculations this would mean that road hauliers would have to travel 4.5 percent further to deliver the same quantity of goods, at the cost to them of an additional £305 million, as well as the need to increase the number of trucks on the UK’s roads by 5.5 percent.

This in turn would add an additional 320,000 tons of CO2 emissions, which is the equivalent of putting 151,000 new cars on British roads.

Hyslop added that: “Companies transporting lower density products can almost double the amount of freight they move in a single vehicle while staying within the legal weight limit. This load consolidation dramatically cuts lorry miles, fuel consumption and exhaust emissions per ton of product delivered.

“Both economic and environmental costs are substantially reduced and the higher capital costs of the double-deck trailer quite quickly recouped. All in all, the double-deck lorry has been a great logistical success for this country.

“The Commission must exempt the United Kingdom from this proposal.”

Speaking in support of the FSB’s calls for an exemption to the proposals for the UK, MEP Derek Clark states that he will speak at the European Parliament in opposition to the plan and vote against the proposal.

“The economic and climatic effects would be disastrous for the country, leading to unsustainable costs to the industry and a significant increase in carbon emissions,” he said.

(pic: MEP Clark)