Gigaliners “an advantage for the climate,” says Danish minister
Danish Transport Minister Henrik Dam Kristensen is a proponent of gigaliners, giant trucks of up to 25 metres long and weighing 60 tonnes. He made this perfectly clear at a meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport (TRAN), on 24 January, where he presented the Danish Council Presidency’s priorities. “It can be proven that this type of transport offers an advantage for the climate,” he told Michael Cramer (Greens-EFA, Germany), known for his opposition to these vehicles. Cramer had just voiced the conviction that “these monstrous trucks should be promoted only if we want to increase emissions from road transport”.
The question divides the transport sector, but proponents of gigaliners hope the EU will end up authorising them at European level and that the Danish Presidency will make the most of its six months in office to advance this cause. Cramer said doing so “would be a huge mistake,” to which the minister replied that in Denmark, where these vehicles are authorised, not even environmental organisations object to them.
At this stage, the Danish minister is not counting on amendment of Directive 96/53/EC, which regulates vehicle weight and dimensions and which for now bans free movement of these trucks in the EU. On the other hand, he is promoting more flexibility in the rules to allow cross-border traffic by gigaliners between two states where they are authorised. “If both countries accept them, why not,” he told the TRAN committee. Such cross-border authorisation would pave the way, for example, to gigaliner traffic between Denmark and Germany (the Schleswig-Holstein border region has given the green light to tests of these vehicles).