Railway association UNIFE has said plans to allow ‘megatrucks’ on Europe’s roads go against the EU’s long-term vision for freight transport.
The European Commission is looking at proposals to allow road vehicles exceeding 40 tonnes and 18.75m in length to cross EU borders.
UNIFE and thinktank CER believe that opening Europe up to megatrucks is against the EU’s commitment to rail freight, which was most recently identified in the 2011 Transport White Paper setting out a goal of moving 30 per cent of road freight to rail and inland waterways by 2030.
UNIFE director general Philippe Citroën added: “Despite low public approval of megatrucks, there is a clear danger of EU-wide circulation of megatrucks if this proposal is accepted.
“This approach will be very difficult to reverse once countries start adopting it.”
CER executive director Libor Lochman said, “The greater use of megatrucks goes against what the Commission is trying to achieve in freight transport.
“If it wants to reduce the environmental impact of transport, it should be helping to further invest in rail and not just allowing ever-longer trucks to cross Europe.”