Transport policy debates in parliament are often led by well-educated people who unfortunately have very little understanding or practical experience of the transport sector. It’s a real shame that more MEPs aren’t ‘ordinary’ people with a working background.
This is a very interesting and revealing article about how the EU works (or rather doesn’t work), written by an MEP with experience of truck driving;
In my eyes, the most important issue when it comes to EU transport policy are cabotage rules. Cabotage allows foreign trucks to enter a country with a load, stay there for seven days and transport up to three different national loads on their way back home.
He goes on . . .
The cabotage rule is a completely worthless law, created by people who had little knowledge of the situation. It was intended to prevent trucks from driving around without a load.
Now, drivers can, for example, use the rules to cross the bridge from Sweden to Denmark – which takes 30 minutes – then go back to Sweden immediately, granting them a new seven day period and allowing them to transport three more national loads.
Bureaucrats have actually created a way of cheating the legislation.
Right now, the legislation is having a disastrous effect on companies in my home country, because they can’t compete with the firms that are misusing the rules.
Perhaps just as worrying are his closing comments;
I would also like to see longer, heavier trucks than what we currently have in Europe. Mega trucks are the perfect solution to the environmental issues caused by long-distance travel.
Trucks should carry as large a load as possible to reduce their total numbers on Europe’s roads. This system has been in place in Sweden for many years and handling a large truck is no problem whatsoever. It’s simply stupid to say no to mega trucks.
Mega trucks on UK roads? Ouch!