Trailer heights across Europe set to be no more than 4m
A new threat that could see trailer heights across Europe set to no more than 4m has caused fury to the Road Transport Industry.
After success in 2012 in defeating a proposal to set the maximum trailer height in Europe to 4m, trade associations and business groups on both sides of the Irish Sea have moved quickly to respond to this unexpected challenge.
In a draft report for the Weights and Dimensions Directive presented by the European Parliament, Austrian MEP Jörg Leichtfried had tabled an amendment that would prohibit all cross-border movements of vehicles exceeding four metres in height.
Leichfried has raised concerns about the road safety implications of 25.25m plus combination trailers running in certain part of Europe. However, his amendment would end the current derogation used in the UK and Ireland allowing operation of trailers over 4m high.
In response the Freight Transport Association, Road Haulage Association, UK and Ireland Chambers of Commerce and IBEC have joined forces to oppose the amendment to alert the Transport Committee to the threat posed to trade if such a change was enacted.
Chris Yarsley, EU affairs manager at the Freight Transport Association, said: “ I can understand the MEP’s concerns, his reaction had been to opt for the nuclear option. In response the FTA, Road Haulage Association, UK and Ireland Chambers of Commerce and IBEC have joined forces to oppose the amendment to alert the Transport Committee to the threat posed to trade if such a change was enacted.”
“This is a real threat. We’re simply asking for current business practices to continue,I spoke to one retailer that told me such a change would see them making an extra 3,000 trailer movements a year, which goes against everything the European Commission is trying to achieve in regards carbon reduction.”
Yarsely said a letter sent outlining the UK and Ireland opposition to the amendment had been well received ahead of a vote next year, with strong support to maintain the status quo within the European Commission.
Ireland recently introduced a height restriction for trailers that are 4.65m.
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