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Trucks on a highway in green landscape

EU funding should focus on enabling cleaner and safer road transport

14 Mar 2018

IRU shares its vision with the European Commission on the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework and calls for the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funds to be earmarked for road transport projects. 

IRU strongly supports the EU financing instrument but eschews the allocation of funds away from the road transport sector.
IRU foresees significant opportunities for investment in key areas such as decarbonisation, digitalisation and truck parking and highlights that investments into road transport yield the greatest economic returns relative to other transport areas.
The need for more secure heavy duty vehicle parking areas to provide adequate resting conditions across Europe is an important issue for the efficiency of the industry and its ability to meet social conditions while ensuring the well-being and safety of its drivers. 
Truck and coach drivers can be subject to theft and crime in insufficiently equipped parking facilities. Losses incurred due to cargo crime amount to 6-7 billion euro per year. 
EU legislation proposes that drivers spend regular rest breaks away from their vehicles, unless taken in safe and secure parking areas – which puts a spotlight on the issue. IRU, together with a consortium of leading partners, is working on the development of a universal standard to address truck parking infrastructure.
Matthias Maedge, who leads IRU`s work in the EU says: “There is a clear need to boost setting up more of these facilities in Europe. It is unrealistic to believe that the problem will be solved by not allowing the regular rest time to be taken inside the vehicle. Drivers need adequate rest environments, including the opportunity to shower, eat and sleep. Better services and the well-being of drivers are mutually beneficial to the overall robustness of the industry and its ability to retain drivers in a time of increasing driver shortages.”     
An increased allocation of CEF funds for road transport innovation would also help the sector further reduce its environmental footprint via the promotion of the latest technologies.
Matthias Maedge continues: “Road transport is the vital connector in multimodal transport and this needs to be reflected in the allocation of the EU budget. Limiting innovation in road transport is short-sighted. Opportunities must be seized so that they have the greatest impact and the road transport industry is the right place to support this development.”