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EU governments agree cleaner, safer lorries – but Commission must drive improvements

Representatives of EU governments today accepted a deal with the European Parliament to end brick-shaped lorries, clearing the way for advances in fuel efficiency and safety for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. The agreed law allows lorrymakers to produce new designs but industry lobbyists secured a ban until 2022 even though the new designs are voluntary, not mandatory [1]. The Commission will propose new safety requirements for trucks by amending its vehicle safety regulations by 2016.

EU agrees on safer, cleaner lorries - but by 2022

The 28 EU governments and the European Parliament last night reached a deal to end brick-shaped lorries, which are inefficient and very dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. The agreed law gives manufacturers the ability to produce more streamlined, safer and fuel-efficient lorries but, amid heavy lobbying by industry, sets a delay until 2022 [1] before redesigned lorry cabs are allowed on Europe’s roads. Member State representatives still need to formally approve the deal at a COREPER meeting on December 17th.

Putting transport in the ETS will hinder job growth, stall emissions cuts – study

Even if carbon prices in Europe’s emissions trading system (ETS) trebled from today’s levels [1], including road transport in the ETS would only reduce oil use and CO2 emissions from transport by 3% over the next 15 years, a new study by Cambridge Econometrics reveals. This level is insufficient for road transport to make a proportionate contribution to Europe’s climate and energy security goals.

'Climate and energy portfolio needs Commissioner unencumbered by conflicts of interest' – T&E reaction to Cañete hearing

Transport & Environment's reaction to the Parliament hearing for Commissioner-designate for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete.

Despite three-hours of grilling by MEPs of the Commissioner-designate for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete failed to explain how there is no conflict of interest with his brother-in-law Miguel Domecq Solís being a director of two oil companies.

Direct-vision lorries to save hundreds of lives – study

An 80cm longer cab with a rounded nose, smaller dashboard, expanded glazed areas and a slightly lower driver position could drastically reduce fatal blind spots [1] around the lorry cab, a new study by the Loughborough Design School [2] reveals. The ‘Direct Vision’ lorry concept would increase the driver’s field of view in front and to the sides of the lorry by 50% compared to today’s lorry designs and could save hundreds of cyclists’ and pedestrians’ lives. 

France scales back lorry toll

France’s Assemblée Nationale approved a scaled-down toll for lorries, which will do little to improve logistics efficiency as well as lorries’ environmental and health impacts. The decision goes against a wider trend of expanding or introducing ambitious lorry km-charging schemes in other countries like Germany, Poland, Austria and Belgium. 

Ministers reject megatrucks but stall safer lorry designs for 8 more years

EU transport ministers decided today to delay changes to the weights and dimensions rules for lorry cabins, which would allow safer and more fuel efficient lorries to be produced [1]. Under Franco-Swedish pressure, ministers regrettably agreed to ban the introduction of safer and cleaner lorry cabs from Europe’s roads for at least eight years. In a more positive note, ministers rejected a proposal to allow megatrucks to cross borders.

France and Sweden lead call for 8 year prohibition of safer lorries

Representatives of EU Member States today reached an agreement on changing weights and dimensions rules for lorry cabins. The provisional agreement sets a delay of eight years [1] before redesigned lorry cabs can be driven on Europe’s roads, even though design changes could save hundreds of lives and billions of litres of diesel fuel. The call for a long delay was led by France and Sweden in an effort to shield national lorry makers Renault and Volvo, and was adopted despite opposition from other countries like the UK, Germany and Denmark.

Commission lorry CO2 strategy shows urgent need for lorry fuel-efficiency standard

The European Commission today published a lorry CO2 strategy that highlights the urgent need to address stagnant lorry fuel economy and reduce Europe’s growing lorry emissions, but fails to propose decisive action to do so. Europe has introduced fuel economy standards for cars and vans but there is no regulation to deal with lorry CO2 emissions.  Sustainable transport group, Transport & Environment, welcomes the strategy, but urges swift, concrete action to address the problem of rising lorry CO2.

Full Parliament votes for safer, cleaner lorries, but faces national roadblocks

The full European Parliament today almost unanimously [1] voted to change rules for lorry cabins that could save hundreds of lives and reduce fuel consumption and emissions. The vote marks the beginning of the end for Europe’s brick-shaped lorries, which are dangerous and inefficient.

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