Friday, May 22, 2009

MEP's lobbied by rail companies over 'mega trucks'

Campaign group Freight on Rail argues against introduction of 'mega trucks' to UK roads.

EUROPE - Campaign group Freight on Rail claims to have uncovered "fundamental mathematical errors in the European Commission-sponsored mega trucks research". Freight on Rail, along with other rail freight lobby groups, argue that the introduction of mega trucks (trucks that are 25.5m long and 60 tonnes in weight) should be opposed.

Johannes Ludewig, executive director of the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) stated: "Allowing mega trucks on all European roads would be a negative move and make the EU's climate targets for 2020 harder to reach.

"It would inevitably produce a shift from rail back to road, both in terms of freight quantities and investment. Infrastructure investment would need to be focused on upgrading roads to cater for the new vehicles. It would also allow one particular transport mode to optimise its costs at the expense of society as a whole."

However, Jack Semple, director of policy at the Road Haulage Association, argued for the potential benefits the bigger lorries could bring: "There are the economic and environmental gains, as well as the improvements in efficiency in what will remain the dominant form of transport in the UK. Rail has a role, not least in reducing congestionon the roads, but any increase in efficiency in road transport has been opposed by the rail freight sector."