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Workable TRAN compromise urgently needed to allow even safer and greener trucks and coaches


13 Feb 2014



Brussels, 12 February 2014


The current failure to reach workable compromises in the TRAN Committee, on the proposal for revised weights and dimensions for commercial vehicles, is dashing hopes of a rapid introduction of an even greener, safer and more resource efficient European transport system.

Brussels – The postponement of the expected vote yesterday in the TRAN committee of the European Parliament on the European Commission proposals revising the weights and dimensions of commercial road vehicles, should not risk blocking the rapid route to significant innovative safety and environmental improvements.

Michael Nielsen, IRU General Delegate to the EU stated, “A golden opportunity to even further innovate to improve the environmental and safety performance in road transport risks being missed if a compromise solution is not found urgently. I am astounded that the responsible MEPs are failing to find or accept any of the necessary compromises that will allow an even more environmentally friendly and safe transport system.  This is a sad example of dogma prevailing over evidenced based,   informed decision making.”

The IRU calls for the Rapporteur to urgently accept a compromise solution that will allow the manufacturers to make improvements to the aerodynamics and safety of trucks within the infrastructure constraints, to permit the fitting of aerodynamic fins to the rear of vehicle combinations that will help achieve substantial savings in fuel and vehicle emissions and finally to ensure that European Modular System (EMS) can be operated by the Member States that want to do so – as is the case today.

The proposed new rules on the weights and dimensions of commercial vehicles will also secure the introduction of more alternative fuel powered trucks on Europe’s roads by permitting a one tonne increase in weight to accommodate heavier alternative fuel propulsion systems. Furthermore, the proposed increase in weight for two axle coaches will also see the introduction of more environmentally friendly buses and coaches without reducing their passenger carrying capacity, which is another reason why a delay in the decision making is largely disappointing to the road transport industry.

A compromise solution providing these opportunities and a subsequent positive vote will also open the door to design flexibility for truck cabins that would not only provide better aerodynamic performance coupled with major improvements in road safety through better visibility, but also an improved working environment for the driver.

Mr Nielsen concluded “It is quite clear from the TRAN committee’s failure to find compromises that the chance of mo

ving to a more resource efficient, safer and greener European transport sector is in danger of being squandered. I therefore urge the responsible MEPs to find workable compromises and for the TRAN Committee to vote on the report as soon as possible in order to allow the EP Plenary time to vote on the proposals before the European elections in May this year, so that Europe can benefit from even safer, cleaner and more efficient commercial road transport as soon as possible.”

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