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Expanding the EU’s Eurovignette directive to cover pollution, noise and congestion would not disadvantage peripheral member states and would bring net benefits of at least €2.3 billion a year.

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Freight Visions

T&E has written to the Commission’s leading transport official to complain about political interference in the conclusions drawn from a research group on freight transport. The Freight Visions group has included input from a number of NGOs, including T&E, but the draft conclusions differ distinctly from many of the working groups. In a letter to Matthias Ruete, T&E director Jos Dings said, ‘Once again it appears that the research has been politically managed to ensure that conclusions fit neatly with the current policy approach ... It is unacceptable that such a project is approached with a political direction and a reduced level of ambition already in mind.’

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Big majority against 'mega-trucks'

An opinion poll in Switzerland has shown 80% of Swiss citizens are against extra long lorries – generally known as 'mega-trucks' – being allowed to use Swiss roads. The poll, carried out by the Link Institute, questioned more than 1200 people, and looked at regional variations, showing 87% against in the Italian-speaking region of Ticino. This latest survey combines with similar results from opinion polls in France, Germany and Great Britain, which indicate a majority oppose 60-tonne lorries across Europe.

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The road to good charging can often be bumpy

Editorial by Maarten van Biezen and Chris Nobel, The Netherlands Society for Nature and Environment (T&E member organisation)

The idea of basing motoring taxation on the distance a vehicle is driven – generally known these days as a 'kilometre charge' – is in principle a good one which environmental groups have advocated for years. But as recent developments in the Netherlands have shown, the road to good charging can often be a bumpy one.

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And finally ...

Having campaigned for years against road transit traffic, T&E member organisation The Alpine Initiative asked 50 lorry drivers what exactly they were transporting through Switzerland's Gotthard road tunnel. The answers ranged from car tyres, disposable nappies and felt, to cigarette filters and even caps for toothpaste tubes.

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