UKIP MEP Derek Clark backs truckers

Published: Tue Oct 18 2011

A ban on tall trucks which will increase motorway congestion and affect the environment has been slammed by a campaigning MEP.

East Midlands UKIP MEP Derek Clark joined with the Federation of Small Businesses to fight a controversial EU ban on UK trucks measuring up to 4.9 metres high, as opposed to the four metre trucks used on the Continent.

Along with FSB representatives he handed over a letter of protest outside the EU commission buildings in Berlaymont.

He said: "It does not take a genius to work out how an extra one fifth capacity will cut down on trucks, so less motorway congestion and less carbon dioxide.

"It's madness because UK hauliers will not be taking these high trucks abroad anyway, so it has no impact on the Continent, except to make our hauliers more competitive.

"But the EU does not like competition, hence the regulation.

"I expect many will remember that we had to re-build bridges to take the extra load when Continental trucks got bigger - yet again the EU is not adhering to the concept of a level playing field."

If the UK was not granted an exemption the ban would lead to about 7,000 double-decker lorries currently in use in the United Kingdom being gradually phased out.

Trucks would have to travel 4.5 per cent further to deliver the same quantity of goods, costing the haulage industry an additional £305m.

It would lead to an extra 320,000 tones in carbon emissions, equivalent to adding some 151,000 new cars to United Kingdom's roads. It would lead to a 5.5 per cent increase in the number of lorries on the roads.

Mr Clark said: "We must fight on against this latest crazy EU law. There are real fears for British jobs and for the environment."
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