IRU is concerned by the European Commission’s submission of a new Recommendation to the Council to prolong Schengen border controls in Norway, Denmark, Germany, Austria, and Sweden. The Commission notes that the exceptional circumstances leading to the original consent to introduce internal border controls have not been sufficiently addressed. Therefore Member States should be allowed to conduct border controls for a further three months.
Although IRU recognises the need for border security, actions to improve traffic flows, such as priority lanes for trucks, should be implemented to mitigate the continued negative impact border controls are having on the commercial road transport industry and on the wider economy in the EU. In road freight transport alone additional costs have been estimated at EUR 5bn per year. Journey times for road freight and passenger transport services have also increased dramatically. Reported delays of up to two hours on Austrian – German border crossings cost operators EUR55 per vehicle per hour.
IRU urges the Commission and Member States once again to consider measures which could alleviate the negative impact of such controls on the commercial road transport industry.