Berlin, January 2, 2017. In the increasingly bitter dispute within the federal government about the future of longer goods vehicles, the German Pro-Rail Alliance is firmly on the side of the German environment ministry. After the environment ministry sharply criticised the transport ministry’s unilateral decision to allow the 25.25 metre HGVs to operate regularly from January 1, 2017 without further consultation, the Pro-Rail Alliance is now considering legal measures. “We are looking at taking legal action against transport minister Alexander Dobrindt’s unilateral decision to allow regular operations,” said the managing director of the Pro-Rail Alliance, Dirk Flege, on Monday in Berlin.
In a statement on Monday, the secretary of state in the federal environment ministry, Jochen Flasbarth, criticised the fact that Dobrindt’s ammendment order was “not voted on by the government, and is a mistake in terms of environmental and transport policy.” The environment ministry’s statement went on to say that the ramifications of allowing longer HGVs, their impact on the environment and their effect on rail transport have all not been sufficiently researched.
Pro-Rail Alliance managing director Dirk Flege: “When the permanent secretary of state in the federal environment ministry openly says that the federal transport minister’s decision to allow regular operations has created ‘facts on the ground’ that are not compatible with EU regulations, that is a very serious accusation indeed. As a recognised environmental association, we intend to use our legal right to pursue this matter.” From the point of the Pro-Rail Alliance it is very revealing when the federal environment ministry confirms that the supporters of longer HGVs, by allowing regular operations, are contradicting the federal government’s own target for shifting more freight from the roads to the railways. Flege: “The so-called Gigaliners are bad news for climate protection, expensive for taxpayers and dangerous for all road users.”
After the conclusion of the five-year trials of longer heavy goods vehicles on designated routes and one day after the ‘seventh amendment order to the provision granting exemptions to the national highway code’s rules on longer vehicles and longer vehicle combinations’ came into force, the Pro-Rail Alliance verdict on the concept of longer vehicles continues to be a clear rejection:
Additional information (German)