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MEPs urged to end EU’s ‘deafening silence’ on traffic noise

The fight against traffic noise is being directed at MEPs, as the European Parliament’s environment committee prepares for a vital vote in July. T&E and two other Brussels-based NGOs have published an internet video highlighting the problem, while a report for T&E published last month showed the benefits of ambitious vehicle noise legislation would outweigh the costs by 30 times.

European Parliament vote on fuel taxes: reaction from Transport & Environment

Brussels - Fuel tax havens such as Luxembourg and Spain may have to raise their low diesel taxes following a vote in the European Parliament in Strasbourg this afternoon on a proposal to revise the EU’s Energy Tax law.  Commenting on the outcome of the vote, Magnus Nilsson, senior campaigner at T&E said: “This vote is good news for countries like Portugal, Belgium, France and Germany who currently lose billions in tax revenue as a result of lorries filling up in fuel tax havens such as Luxembourg and Spain.  Lower diesel taxes are bad for the climate and force governments to find cash elsewhere, such as by raising job-killing labour taxes.  ”

Swedish lorry move shows Brussels ‘hasn’t thought this through’

With the battle over whether oversized lorries, known as ‘megatrucks’, should be allowed to cross EU national borders, an extension of the fight is now emerging as Sweden has given the green light for even longer lorries to operate between Göteborg and Malmö. T&E is worried that the Commission’s proposed ‘reinterpretation’ of existing weights and dimensions rules for lorries would effectively leave Europe with no limits at all.

Road interests launch Green Freight initiative

Line of lorries

An alliance of road freight interests has launched ‘Green Freight Europe’, aimed at working out a reliable method of measuring emissions from lorries. The group of hauliers, transport logistics firms and companies that use lorries to transport goods set out its scheme last month in the presence of the EU transport commissioner Siim Kallas. Estimates of today’s fuel efficiency of lorries vary widely.

Study highlights disadvantages of time-based car ‘vignettes’

Of the seven EU countries to have a ‘vignette’ tax system for cars, Hungary has the best and Slovenia the worst. That’s the finding of a study for the Commission that has looked at the seven existing systems as it is soon to publish draft guidelines for governments on minimum standards for vignettes.

Commission backs away from allowing megatrucks

The European Commissioner’s top transport official appeared to back away from plans to allow megatrucks to travel freely across European national borders at a stormy meeting yesterday afternoon of the European Parliament’s Transport Committee.  Transport & Environment says the EU should scrap plans to boost longer and heavier lorries, and instead propose changes that would allow future lorries to be more aerodynamic and safer but without changing the length or weight of the load space.