Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Monster trucks alert!

60 tonne "Monster Trucks" may be coming to the roads of East Anglia...

The European Parliament has considered a report on freight logistics which failed to rule out the use of 60 tonne trucks across EU borders and left open the possibility that this could happen without Member States giving consent for their borders to be crossed.

As well as the obvious dangers to communities in East Anglia on recognised routes, the use of Sat. Nav. equipment and drivers not familiar with local roads will inevitably cause serious disruption when these huge and ultra-heavy trucks take a wrong turn and get stuck.

Green MEP Caroline Lucas has warned that the failure of the EU Parliament to rule out the use of 60 tonne trucks could lead to them being used across the EU.

In my view too, there can be no role for monster trucks thundering up and down our roads, guzzling fuel, damaging infrastructure as they do so. The question we need to ask ourselves is this: Do we really want these mega-juggernauts on the roads of East Anglia, clogging them up, posing unprecedented dangers to pedestrians, cyclists and ordinary motorists, and damaging our road-surfaces without paying any compensation for doing so?

A rhetorical question.

So:

What we do instead, to reduce the alleged need for these monster trucks?
Here are four key ideas for our Region, to start with:
* Eliminate the silly but climate-dangerous aspects of current
global trade - e.g. the great food swap between UK and other EU countries.

*The UK should only import what it cannot produce itself - good for UK jobs,
good for the global environment.

* Campaign for much better rail-freight facilities including a freight
line from Norwich out to the new Yarmouth outer harbour (Eastport) and
better freight connections from Felixstowe.

* Better rail-freight centres for distribution onwards by rail from
East coast ports at Peterborough (taking Eastport and Felixstowe goods
northwards) and Cambridge (taking good westwards -- once the East-West link to
Milton Keynes and Oxford is built).

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29.
60 tonne "Monster Trucks" may be coming to the roads of East Anglia...

The European Parliament has considered a report on freight logistics which failed to rule out the use of 60 tonne trucks across EU borders and left open the possibility that this could happen without Member States giving consent for their borders to be crossed.

As well as the obvious dangers to communities in East Anglia on recognised routes, the use of Sat. Nav. equipment and drivers not familiar with local roads will inevitably cause serious disruption when these huge and ultra-heavy trucks take a wrong turn and get stuck.

Green MEP Caroline Lucas has warned that the failure of the EU Parliament to rule out the use of 60 tonne trucks could lead to them being used across the EU.

In my view too, there can be no role for monster trucks thundering up and down our roads, guzzling fuel, damaging infrastructure as they do so. The question we need to ask ourselves is this: Do we really want these mega-juggernauts on the roads of East Anglia, clogging them up, posing unprecedented dangers to pedestrians, cyclists and ordinary motorists, and damaging our road-surfaces without paying any compensation for doing so?

A rhetorical question.

So:

What we do instead, to reduce the alleged need for these monster trucks?
Here are four key ideas for our Region, to start with:
* Eliminate the silly but climate-dangerous aspects of current
global trade - e.g. the great food swap between UK and other EU countries.

*The UK should only import what it cannot produce itself - good for UK jobs,
good for the global environment.

* Campaign for much better rail-freight facilities including a freight
line from Norwich out to the new Yarmouth outer harbour (Eastport) and
better freight connections from Felixstowe.

* Better rail-freight centres for distribution onwards by rail from
East coast ports at Peterborough (taking Eastport and Felixstowe goods
northwards) and Cambridge (taking good westwards -- once the East-West link to
Milton Keynes and Oxford is built).
30. 31. 32.