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EC vice president Siim Kallas has declared movements of megatrucks between consenting EU states is now permitted, but Brian Simpson, chairman of the EU parliamentary transport committee said Kallas was acting beyond his powers and will likely prompt legal challenges.
Megatrucks are used widely in Scandinavia and parts of Germany. Dutch and British trials are under way, according to London's International Freighting Weekly. But newly-elected members of the European Parliament in the German Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia have refused further trials.
Also opposed is the British Freight on Rail lobby, determined to reduce trucking in the UK.
"The commission is supposed to implement existing laws, not make new ones. Instead of pursuing this undemocratic change to the existing policy to allow cross-border traffic of megatrucks, the commission should evaluate the road safety, congestion and pollution implications of megatrucks and let parliament and transport ministers make the decision in the normal democratic way," said Freight on Rail executive Philippa Edmunds.
The Dutch truckers association favour the use of the larger vehicles and say their adoption is "beyond the point of no return".
Shippers also welcome the EC declaration. "The cross-border transport of EMS [European modular system] vehicles supports our industry's efforts to optimise their logistics operations and reduce the impact on the environment," said Nicolette van der Jagt, director general of the European Organisation for Forwarding and Logistics.
"Increased use of EMS vehicles will provide efficiency perfectly suited for intermodal transport," said Van der Jagt, former director general of the European Shippers Council.
Source: British International Freight Association
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