MEP Derek Clark in fight against EU rules which will hit haulage industry

From: Derek Clark MEP
Published: Tue May 31 2011

A campaigning MEP is joining the fight against controversial new EU rules which will severely hit the country’s haulage industry.

East Midlands UKIP MEP has pledged to fight the proposals and has pledged his support to the Federation of Small Businesses, which is aghast at the European Commission plans to bring in a four-metre height limit on new trailers and trucks bought within the EU.

It is concerned the scheme would have a wholly disproportionate impact on the United Kingdom as tall lorries up to 4.9 metres in height are almost unique to this country.

Richard Hyslop, the EU international affairs and defence policy adviser, to the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "The Commission must exempt the United Kingdom from this proposal.

"There are 100,000 haulage companies in the United Kingdom and tall lorries of up to 4.9 metres, are a common sight on the roads of the United Kingdom - in fact they are almost unique to the United Kingdom.

"Few, if any, countries have road infrastructures which can accommodate these vehicles. This has enabled many businesses in the United Kingdom to double-deck their lorries, gaining extra cubic capacity vertically.

"Companies transporting lower density products can almost double the amount of freight they move in a single vehicle while staying within the legal weight limit. This load consolidation dramatically cuts lorry miles, fuel consumption and exhaust emissions per ton of product delivered.

"Both economic and environmental costs are substantially reduced and the higher capital costs of the double-deck trailer quite quickly recouped. All in all, the double-deck lorry has been a great logistical success for this country."

He said if the United Kingdom was not granted an exemption and if adopted, these proposals would lead to about 7,000 double-decker lorries currently in use in the United Kingdom being gradually phased out.

Lorries would have to travel 4.5 per cent further to deliver the same quantity of goods, costing the haulage industry an additional £305m. It would lead to an extra 320,000 tones in carbon emissions, equivalent to adding some 151,000 new cars to United Kingdom’s roads. It would lead to a 5.5 per cent increase in the number of lorries on the roads.

Mr Clark said: "I wholly support the Federation of Small Businesses in its ongoing fight to exempt the UK from this proposal.

"The economic and climatic effects would be disastrous for country, leading to unsustainable costs to the industry and a significant increase in carbon emissions."

Mr Clark promised to speak in the European Parliament in defence of the country’s haulage industry and to vowed to vote against the scheme.
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