Weights & dimensions: Essential that flexibility is kept for Nordic countries

Yesterday, the European Commission presented its Greening of Freight package, including a proposal to revise the current Weights and Dimensions Directive.

The proposal opens up for 44 tonnes gross vehicle weight for cross-border transports with standard vehicles as well as any vehicle used in combined and multimodal transport; increased weight and length derogations for zero-emission vehicles; a scope increase for the cross-border use of the European Modular Concept; and the facilitation and simplification of the authorisation process for abnormal load transports. 

– In general, it is very positive that longer and heavier vehicles is now being allowed more widely within the EU. For the Nordic hauliers, however, it is absolutely crucial that the EU does not interfere with the possibility of maintaining the current rules in the Nordics, says Erik Østergaard, chairman of the Nordic Logistics Association.

– In the Nordic countries, we have a broad tradition of maximising the use of the vehicles’ technical possibilities and thus increase energy and climate efficiency. It is fundamental for the green transition that heavy-duty vehicles can load as much as possible on each trip, continues, Erik Østergaard.

– Therefore, I would like to underline that it is essential that the Directive maintains the current flexibility of Member States to permit higher weight and dimension limits for heavy-duty vehicles in national traffic and between consenting countries. We need this to ensure that Denmark can continue with 56 tons on 7-axle trucks combinations and 60 tons on modular road trains with 8 axles, and for Sweden to drive with 74 tons and Finland with 76 tons on up to 11 axles.

Modular road trains on the EU road network will improve transport efficiency

NLA has called for the possibility of using the modular road train concept on the entire Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and as such the proposal is a first step in that direction.

– It will have a huge positive impact on transport efficiency in European international road transport. It will reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions, road wear, traffic congestion, help address driver shortages and improve road safety, says Erik Østergaard.

– We therefore welcome that the Commission is now opening for more cross-border transport with the European Modular System (EMS) transports.

The NLA´s chairman also welcomes the suggested simplification of the authorisation process for abnormal load transports. 

– It is positive that the Commission has listened to the road transport industry. A more coordinated and less burdensome approach for operators carrying out abnormal transport is welcome, if this means operators will only need to apply for permits in one EU Member State, concludes Erik Østergaard.

NLA will closely follow the work on the proposal to safeguard the flexibility that allows Nordic road transport companies to operate with heavier and longer truck combinations.   

Photo: Autobude

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