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Supertrucks heading for Belgium?

Published on 27/07/2004

27 July 2004

BRUSSELS – Supertrucks measuring up to 25-metres long and weighing 60 tonnes could be soon be thundering along Belgian roads, it was suggested on Tuesday.

Belgian trucking industry lobby Febetra says it will ask the country’s new transport minister Renaat Landuyt to allow the testing of extra-long lorries.

Belgian law currently limits lorry length to 18.75 metres and a load of 40 tonnes.

But Febetra argues these limits should be increased.

It points to the example of the Netherlands where a recent pilot scheme saw 10 giant lorries measuring up to 25.25 metres allowed to drive on the country’s roads.

The experiment was so successful that the Dutch authorities are now considering expanding the country’s fleet of supertrucks to 300.

“These ‘super lorries’ don’t cause any extra traffic problems since they are just longer than average,” said Febetra’s spokesperson Isabelle De Maegt.

“The weight is distributed in exactly the same way as with other lorries, so they don’t damage the road surface more.”

Febetra also argues the lorries are better for the environment since they carry more and therefore companies have to make fewer journeys.

Fuel consumption could be cut by between 4 and 30 percent, she claimed, and CO2 emissions from lorries by 25 percent.

But some environmentalists have already rubbished those claims, stating giving the green light to super lorries encourages more and more freight to be taken by road, rather than by other methods, notably rail.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news