Road transport: Gigaliners continue to divide MEPs

It seems next to impossible to predict the final position the European Parliament will take on the cross-border circulation of gigaliners, also known to their opponents as ‘monster trucks’. The debate in the Committee on Transport (TRAN), on 5 November, showed once again that MEPs are extremely divided on this matter – and both sides seemed deaf to the other’s arguments.

The rapporteur, Jörg Leichtfried (S&D, Austria), has repeated that he “fundamentally rejects” the European Commission’s position, which would permit the cross-border circulation of such trucks.

“It is in our common interest to make transport more ecological, and not to
treat all modes of transport in the same way.”

However, ecological arguments are also used by those who support gigaliners. They highlight that the giant trucks reduce the number of journeys required to transport freight, since they can carry much higher volumes.

The strongest support for the rapporteur comes from the Greens, who are fiercely opposed to gigaliners – as are the majority of Socialists. In the EPP, whose shadow rapporteur, Petri Sarvamaa (Finland), is in favour of gigaliners, saying that they will mean “fewer trucks, less accidents and less CO2”. Finland has already authorised gigaliners for a long time, and this has not led to any problems.

Meanwhile, Corien Wortmann-Kool (EPP, Netherlands) emphasised that in her country gigaliners “are not controversial”. They are only used on certain roads and their use does not incur extra costs for the adaptation of infrastructures, she added. Mathieu Grosch (EPP, Belgium) agrees that they should be forbidden in cities, but says that banning them on border routes would be “ridiculous”.

The deadline for proposing amendments to the draft report is 5 December.

Source: Europolitics


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