Benelux pushing ahead

Green light for gigaliners – even across national borders Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg wish to use long trucks in transnational traffic too. Trucks with a length of 25.25 meters and a weight of up to 60 tonnes are allowed to cross the borders between the three countries. This is made possible by Article 350 of the EU Treaty, which gives the Benelux countries the right to adopt their own internal market regulations. While this issue is still being heatedly discussed in the rest of the EU (there has been quite some debate between the Commission and European Parliament for years on the specific design of the long truck regulations), the three countries in the west have now simply gone it alone. In particular Dutch freight forwarders will be pleased about the extension of their operating range: There are already more than 1,000 gigaliners underway in the Netherlands. In Belgium, however, the long trucks have not yet got into gear – so far only two oversized vehicles have been registered. It remains to be seen whether the topic will now pick up speed through what has been implemented in the Benelux region. Because, resistance has also formed: Michael Cramer (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), chairman of the transport committee in the European parliament, is convinced: “Transnational use of gigaliners remains illegal.” He therefore warns businesses of investing in new longer trucks on the basis of the special situation in the Benelux countries.

Author: Sonja Terbrüggen

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