EU transport ministers will this week decide whether to approve changing the design rules for lorry cabins which will make them safer and more fuel efficient. Last month, governments reached a provisional agreement on the changes but set a delay of eight years before redesigned lorry cabs can be produced in Europe.
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  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.
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.
European lorries, and in particular the cabins, look like oversized bricks with flat noses and blunt shapes. That wasn’t always the case. Not so long ago long-nose lorries thundered over European highways just like they do now in the US. However, it seems Brussels is now plotting the comeback of the more aerodynamic cabin.
New rules for lorry design, which campaigners hope will reduce fuel consumption and emissions and save hundreds of lives, have been accepted almost unanimously by the full European Parliament. For the first time, MEPs also called for the introduction of fuel efficiency standards for lorries. But these proposed rules, which must now be agreed by EU member states, face opposition from national transport ministers seeking to shield some lorry makers from innovation.
A new study for the Brussels capital region in Belgium analyses the merits of a congestion charge with a fee per kilometre travelled.
The full European Parliament today almost unanimously  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.
Progress towards new design and safety standards for lorries will be jeopardised if the European Commission backtracks on safety requirements, environmental and road safety campaigners fear.
The European Parliament’s transport committee today voted to change rules for lorry cabins that could save hundreds of lives and reduce fuel consumption and emissions. The committee voted to give lorry manufacturers more design space for the front end, allowing a more streamlined nose and ending the era of Europe’s characteristically brick-shaped lorries.
There are concerns for the future of lorry design proposals that would drastically improve road safety, after a vote in the European Parliament was postponed earlier this month. The Transport Committee will not decide until March 18 on the long-awaited rules governing driver visibility, lorry-crash performance and more aerodynamic, emissions-saving design.