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Vehicle noise: impact of Commission, Parliament and Council positions

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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.

French lorry tax delay

The French government has delayed by three months the introduction of its distance-based eco-tax on lorries. The tax was to have come into effect on 1 October, but has been put back to the start of 2014. The French transport minister blamed technical difficulties, but one of T&E’s French members – France Nature Environnement – said this is just the latest in a series of delaying tactics by hauliers and shippers who want the tax either delayed indefinitely or severely watered down. The eco-tax, which will apply to lorries over 3.5 tonnes using about 15,000km of main roads that are not part of the tolled Péage network, is expected to earn the French government €1.2 billion a year – which means the three-month delay will cost it around €300 million.

Saving lives, saving fuel: changing the face of European lorries

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Three quarters of goods in the EU are carried by road. Whilst only 3 percent of vehicles, lorries account for 25 percent of road transport CO2 emissions in Europe. Over the past 20 years the fuel efficiency of lorries has hardly improved1 and lorries are also involved in a disproportionate number (18%) of fatal accidents. One reason for this poor track record is the very blunt, hence unsafe and unstreamlined, front end of Europe’s lorries. This briefing illustrates the urgent need for smarter design and the benefits of such a change.

Road transport in the EU ETS – why it is a bad idea

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This paper is a response from Transport & Environment to the ‘Consultation on structural options to strengthen the EU Emissions Trading System’ (ETS) by the European Commission. The response focuses on the fourth (‘d’) of six options proposed – extension of the scope of the ETS to other sectors - with a special focus on extending the scope of the ETS to road transport. T&E strongly opposes this idea, as it will not deliver economic benefits and will seriously jeopardise emissions reductions in transport. 

‘Scaremongering’ could lead to louder roads

Efforts to reduce traffic noise across Europe suffered a setback earlier this month when MEPs voted to weaken current noise limits for sports cars and lorries. The outcome of the vote hinders moves to bring EU vehicle noise levels into line with World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations for safe limits. T&E says MEPs have put pressure by the automotive industry ahead of the health of citizens.

European Parliament condemns European citizens to noisier cities

The lives of millions of Europeans will be blighted by an increase in road traffic noise for years to come as the European Parliament today voted to weaken current noise limits for sports cars and trucks. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) and the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) express their disappointment in today's parliamentary vote, and resume calls on Member States to strengthen limits to lead to quieter and, hence, healthier cities in Europe.

Making weight sensors mandatory for future tachographs

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The revision of the Tachograph Regulation (Council Regulation (EEC) No. 3921/85 on recording equipment in road transport), which was launched in 2011, seeks to “improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the tachograph system” and to “update the current legislation so as to make full use of new technological opportunities”.As part of the revision process, the European Parliament agreed in its first reading to mandate weight sensors on new trucks as part of the future ‘smart’ tachograph.In this joint statement, the ETF and T&E urge EU policy makers to follow the position adopted by the European Parliament and to make weight sensors mandatory on new trucks and trailers concomitantly with the introduction of the smart tachograph in the sector.

The inconvenient truth about truckers

In his latest blog post, T&E policy officer for lorries William Todts disputes the industry's claims of 'spectacular' fuel-efficiency progress and discusses the need for truck manufacturers to focus on making trucks themselves more fuel efficient, smarter and safer.

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