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Threat of 'mega trucks' coming to UK roads

12 December 2011

Mega trucks - 25 metres long (82ft) and up to 60 tonnes - will come to UK roads by default if European Commission proposals, currently out for consultation, go ahead.

megatruck

The plan would allow the cross border flow of mega trucks from countries where they are licensed. Mega trucks, which would be 50 per cent longer and a third heavier than existing HGVs will result in more road fatalities, greater road damage, a build up of congestion and higher levels of pollution.

The European Commission's own research states that mega trucks are individually more dangerous than standard HGVs. A revision to the directive 96/53, which controls the maximum weight and dimensions of HGVs, would let consenting member states to allow crossborder mega trucks traffic. The road haulage industry has argued that they would be put at a trading disadvantage if mega trucks are not allowed on UK roads.

Currently, one in four HGVs are driving around empty, with Department for Transport research showing that almost 50 per cent of lorries are not filled to either their maximum volume or weight, ie partially loaded. With this in mind, the justification for ever-larger lorries seems especially weak. Freight on Rail – the partnership between rail unions and the rail freight operators – is calling on people to lobby your MP and MEP to oppose this amendment, using the model text on their website. 7 For more details see www.freightonrail.org.uk.
 

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