News 29 Jan 2014

Common statement: road legislation harms intermodality

European transport associations in the road-rail, rail and inland waterway sector are increasingly worried about the upcoming vote in the European Parliament on the amendment of Directive 96/53 on the weights and dimensions of road vehicles, as well as the commencement of the proposal's deliberation in the European Council.

Whilst the title of the legislation suggests that it should cover road transport, it includes a number of issues that affect combined transport. This concerns in particular the introduction of a new definition for "intermodal transport", as well as particular rules on short sea shipping. These changes are being proposed without a relevant impact assessment and without adequate consultation of the affected stakeholders involved in combined transport operations. This is particularly striking as Directive 92/106 on Combined Transport is coming up for revision in the near future and preparatory work on this proposal has already started within the Commission. It makes very little sense, therefore, to create legal uncertainty by introducing conflicting definitions of combined and intermodal transport in two different sets of legislation.