Current European regulations concerning the maximum weight and dimensions for road transport are based on ruling 96/53 EC. The European Commission appears to be ready to open this dossier once again over the coming weeks and months, according to a statement by Pawel Stelmaszcyk (Head of Unit Logistics, Co-Modality, Motorways of the Seas & Marco Polo at the Move DG) during the general assembly of the federation of car logistics companies (ECG): “We are taking this situation very seriously. Limits on length and weight could be modified, even if I believe that combining maximums of 25.25 in length and 60 tonnes in weight may be going a bit too far”.
Asked what would be an acceptable threshold in terms of weight, Stelmaszcyk replied that a limit fixed at 50 tonnes should not require too many modifications to the road network.
Another point seems to be clear: increasing the maximum permitted vehicle length would have more chance of receiving Commission approval if it was partially dedicated to increasing safety (via new zones to prevent embedding at the front of cabs, for example) and/or to a reduction in fuel consumption, through more aerodynamic semi-trailers, for example.
Towards a Schengen for ecocombis
By its very nature this subject is likely to rekindle discussions on the introduction of ecocombi’s, still undergoing tests in several countries (and soon in Germany too), but still prohibited from carrying out international transport. On this matter, Stelmaszcyk pronounced himself in favour of creating a ' Schengen zone ' where ecocombi’s would be allowed to operate. But it is out of the question to force the introduction of such road units onto countries which don’t want them, such as .
| 12/05/2010 | Claude Yvens