In a proposal for revised rules on weights and dimensions of heavy-duty vehicles, the European Commission aims to formally recognise and permit bilateral agreements between Member States to allow 60-tonne, 25-metre-long lorries to cross borders. The current maximum is 18.75 m and 44 tonnes.
The Commission says allowing such vehicles can prevent road deaths, but its impact assessment does not take into account the rebound effect on demand for road transport that would occur as a result of the cheaper cost per tonne of using megatrucks, which are as heavy as a fully loaded Boeing 737.
The move is also likely to hinder the chances of shifting road freight to rail in Europe, with the accompanying safety benefits.
The Commission also wants to permit higher weight for regular-sized zero emissions trucks to allow for the large batteries needed for long-distance trips.
ETSC will set out its position on the new proposals in a forthcoming briefing.