In a joint declaration presented today, Transport & Environment, alongside the Mayor of London, the European Transport Workers’ Federation, Olympic cycling gold medallist Chris Boardman and many other organisations have called on the European Parliament to seize the once-in-a-generation chance to enforce life, and fuel-saving lorry designs. The declaration was presented to Phil Bennion MEP, one of the leading MEPs on the lorry weights and dimensions file.
A ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to make lorries safer and more fuel-efficient comes before the European Parliament this month. MEPs on the European Parliament’s transport committee will discuss loosening regulations on the dimensions of lorry cabs that will allow them to be more aerodynamic and give drivers greater peripheral vision.
Overloading of lorries is one of the most common infringements found in road freight transport: One in three lorries controlled is overloaded by 10% or even 20% over safe legal weight limits. This poses serious problems to infrastructure, road safety and the environment.
This blogpost was first published in the European Voice.Looking back at 2013, it has been a terrible year for those Londoners who decided to cycle around the city. 14 bike-users have been killed so far this year, 9 of them by HGVs, and despite even Olympic cyclists calling for immediate action, nothing concrete has come out of this tragic toll. In wider Europe, the EU estimates that 4,200 people are killed by lorries annually – a disproportionately high number considering how few lorries are on the roads.
MEP Phil Bennion invites you to participate in a conference debate on the benefits to road safety, cities, hauliers and the environment of proposed updates to the weights and dimensions of lorries. The conference will take place on 29 January from 17h00 - 18h30. The debate will be followed by a cocktail.
The introduction of longer and heavier lorries (LHVs) could lead to more CO2 and pollutant emissions, increased road accident risk and higher infrastructure bills for taxpayers. These impacts are contrary to the EU’s objectives to make transport cleaner and safer. By making road transport cheaper, it will also undermine the EU (Transport White Paper) goal of shifting freight to rail. Therefore, T&E believes the introduction of LHVs is unacceptable under the present conditions.
An agreement reached yesterday means quieter road vehicles won’t be introduced for another 15 years. Transport & Environment (T&E) believes the deal crafted last night by the Commission, European Parliament and Member States is disgraceful, prioritizing the wishes of the car industry over the health of EU citizens. It means decades of delay for a quieter, healthier Europe.
MEP and Rapporteur, Jörg Leichtfried, today proposed changes to an EU lorry law that would ensure that all lorries, including city trucks, become safer, saving the lives of hundreds of cyclists, pedestrians and car drivers in Europe’s cities. Members of the European Parliament’s transport committee debated Leichtfried’s plans to fix the Commission's incomplete proposal that would make EU lorries safer, cleaner and cheaper to run.
This letter, by Transport & Environment, Transport for London, the European Cyclists Federation and the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims is about the review of weights and dimensions of lorries and the importance of lorry road safety in that review. T&E believes that improvements to lorry cab design, e.g. to eliminate blind spots both to the front and to the side and improve crash performance and pedestrian protection, have an enormous potential to make European roads a safer place.
Traffic noise is the second biggest environmental factor affecting Europe’s health after air pollution. Almost half of EU citizens are regularly exposed to road traffic noise over the level that the World Health Organisation (WHO) considers to pose a serious risk to health. Noise pollution has been linked to 50,000 fatal heart attacks every year in Europe.