IRU welcomes Council agreement on commercial vehicle weights and dimensions



The political agreement reached in the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council of Ministers on the weights and dimensions of commercial vehicles paves the way for safer, more environmentally-friendly buses, coaches and trucks on Europe’s roads by encouraging the use of alternative fuel vehicles and permitting a re-designed truck cabin.

The International Road Transport Union (IRU) General Delegate to the EU, Michael Nielsen, commented, “The Council text lays the foundation for constructive negotiations with the European Parliament. I hope these will start soon and we trust that the eight-year transition for the introduction of redesigned cabs will be reduced further.”

The political agreement confirms the use of aerodynamic flaps at the rear of trucks that will improve fuel consumption, therefore reducing carbon and toxic emissions. The agreement also allows for a 1.5 tonne weight increase for coaches, so that they can benefit from existing environmental improvements and allow for alternative fuel propulsion systems without compromising capacity. Similarly, the agreement would allow for a 1 tonne weight increase for certain trucks using alternative fuel propulsion systems.

Mr Nielsen added, “It is vital that the road transport industry be given the tools enabling it to better meet its environmental obligations and improve road safety without delay. Incentives should be provided to facilitate the uptake of newer, more eco-friendly vehicles. I am positive that vehicle manufactures will rise to the challenge and rapidly make available the further improved vehicles that Europe needs.”

The Council agreement notably leaves untouched the current position on the European Modular System (EMS) or eco-combi vehicles, which, following a European Commission legal interpretation allows for continued trials and use of eco-combies in Member States that wish to use them and cross-border use and trails between two agreeing Member States.