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Rail sector welcomes publication of “truth about trucks” study


15 Jan 2009



The European rail sector warmly welcomes the publication yesterday of the CE Delft study “Are trucks taking their toll?” which provides solid and unbiased scientific evidence on environmental, safety and congestion impacts of lorries in the EU.
Until now, the debate on the impact of transport on the environment and society has been hampered by a lack of neutral, scientific evidence, with the various stakeholders and policy makers unable to agree on a single set of data. This study, carried out by the respected independent Dutch environmental consultancy CE Delft and based on a wide range of existing information and respected statistical modelling tools, should lay this problem to rest. The publication of the report is particularly timely, as the European Parliament Transport Committee is scheduled to vote on the revision of the Eurovignette Directive, which aims to internalise the external costs of road transport, on 21 January.

The study, commissioned by the European Federation for Transport and Environment, shows that existing charges levied on trucks across the EU, around €50bn, only cover the costs of infrastructure use. So-called 'external costs,' which the study calculates at €144bn, such as pollution, congestion, noise and accidents are not covered. CO2 emissions of trucks are estimated to rise by 50% by 2030. Furthermore, lorries are responsible for 20% of road congestion in the EU, despite representing just 3% of road vehicles.

Michael Robson, Secretary General of EIM said, “The lack of clear unbiased figures on the true cost of road transport has hampered the ongoing debate on the revision of the Eurovignette Directive – this study demonstrates the urgency of action to internalise the external costs of road transport.”

Michael Clausecker, Director General of UNIFE said, “We welcome the publication of this academic study, which will be invaluable to ensuring the debate on greening transport is informed by solid, scientific facts. We call on the members of the European Parliament Transport Committee to take note of this study when they vote on the Eurovignette revision on 21 January.”

Johannes Ludewig, Executive Director of CER said, “This study debunks the road haulage industry's claim that lorries pay their full costs through existing taxes and charges – road’s current privilege to pollute without paying must be removed!”


Notes to the Editor:

CE Delft is an independent research and consultancy organisation specialised in developing innovative solutions to environmental problems.

A copy of the study is available at

For further information, please contact:

Frank Schneider

CER Press and Communications Manager

phone +32 2 213 08 90

mobile +32 473 32 20 94