• Safer lorries now – a win-win for Europe’s cities, cyclists and trade unions

    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.

    Advanced new lorry cab designs, with rounded noses and all-round visibility, allow drivers to see and safely avoid cyclists and pedestrians. They would also be more aerodynamic  – saving fuel and reducing emissions. However, these improvements are currently blocked by EU regulations on the dimensions of lorries [1]. In February, the Transport Committee of the European Parliament will vote on proposals to change the rules. Currently, however, the changes are not ambitious enough, as they do not require safety improvements for all lorries.
    Commenting on the declaration, T&E policy officer, William Todts, said: “This declaration, signed by cities, hauliers, trade unions and environmental groups, is a unique opportunity for cleaner and safer lorries, now. We can save hundreds of lives – especially in cities – whist offering better working conditions for drivers, and lowering fuels bills and carbon emissions.
    Lorries represent just 3% of the vehicle fleet in the EU but they cause 25% of road transport emissions, and are involved in 15% of fatal crashes, which kill 4,200 people annually. The current EU law on lorry sizes forces the front end of European lorry cabins to be brick-shaped, which as well as making them dangerous, also makes them inefficient. Redesigned lorries will be safer, but also cleaner and more fuel-efficient through better aerodynamics as well as other improvements enabled by the extra design space.
    This is an opportunity to end 20 years of stalled lorry fuel-economy. We call on MEPs to support the proposed updates to the lorry dimensions law, so that lorry-makers can start developing the cleaner, safer, more efficient lorries Europe needs.” William Todts concluded.

    Notes to editors:

    1. The EU’s current rules for international transport say no lorry-trailer combination can be longer than 18.75 metres or have a fully laden weight greater than 40 tonnes.