ESC sees innovation as an indispensable tool in emissions reduction. Longer and heavier vehicles can be seen as an innovative measure that can be applied directly.
Even in densely populated areas like the Netherlands, the combinations of longer and heavier vehicles have proved to be completely safe. Drivers were undergoing an additional training and as a result the percentage of accidents was lower than when involving conventional trucks.
What is still lacking in the EU is a clear regulation on border crossing. Currently, legislation on gross weights in the EU is a patchwork of different national legislations and it lacks harmonisation. A workable solution could be an inclusion of a minimum level of 44 tons. Member States should be free to apply higher levels. Cross-border operations should be possible under the rule of the (largest) possible common denominator. It should be forbidden to keep the national weight down artificially (e.g., a low national weight with exception only on national territory).
For more information about the ESC contribution to the EC consultation on weights and dimensions, please see here.