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Liz Lynne rejects 4 metre height limit for UK Lorries

June 22, 2011 7:32 PM

Lorry / truckLib Dem Euro MP Liz Lynne has said she will oppose a European Commission plan for a four metre height limit on all new heavy lorries.

The Commission's proposal will have a disproportionate impact on British businesses as taller lorries, up to 4.9 metres in height, are common in the UK, but little used in the rest of Europe where most road bridges are lower.

Liz, who is First Vice President of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, has signed a letter drafted by the Federation of Small Businesses and to be presented to the European Commission, calling for the UK to be exempt from the proposal.

Liz Lynne said: "There are 7,000 heavy goods vehicles in the UK which are more than 4 metres high. They can carry more goods and replacing them would mean more lorries on the roads.

"According to the Federation of Small Businesses, the required increase in heavy goods vehicles, estimated at 5.5%, would mean an increase of 4.5% in distance travelled, which would cost the UK's haulage industry an additional £305 million per year in fuel and road taxes.

"This, in turn, would create 320,000 tonnes of carbon emissions, the equivalent of putting 151,000 new cars on the road. Not to mention the cost to the environment of building new lorries.

"The main concern with lorry impact on the roads comes from their axle weight and length, not height. I can see little environmental benefit from this rule, which would not affect most other EU countries very much but cause big problems to UK hauliers.

"Lorries that would be banned under the EU's proposal do not leave the UK, so at least we should make the UK exempt.

"I have signed the FSB's letter and will take this issue up with the Commission if I do not see sensible revisions to the proposal."