News - Longer Heavy Vehicles - LHV Project

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Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories

Longer Heavy Vehicles - LHV Project

FEHRLA consortium including FEHRL has been awarded a contract by the EC’s DG Transport to assess the likely effects if a number of different amendments to EC regulations on truck masses and dimensions were to be permitted.  This consortium led by the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) brings together a number of key national experts including FEHRL members TRL (UK), LCPC (France), BASt (Germany), VTI (Sweden) and RWS DVS (Netherlands). Together with our partners (NEA, NL and Setra, France), one of the project objectives will be to review the implications if longer and/or heavier trucks were to be permitted in the different member states of Europe. 


FEHRL’s main statutory objective is to provide scientific input to EU and national government policy on road infrastructure.  Clearly many of the topics for which advice is needed are politically sensitive.  However FEHRL’s aim is to ensure that a balanced approach is taken and the decisions can be made – by the appropriate people – that are soundly based on facts.  Moreover it is important that the data informing decisions to be taken at a European level, reflecting the needs of individual countries and regions in an proportionate way.  Decisions made for Europe as a whole should avoid causing harm to individual countries; although it is also evident that the particular situations that one country faces should not prevent other willing countries to act together.

The question of whether or not longer and/or heavier trucks should be permitted has polarised many sections of society.  Even the terminology by which these vehicles are known represent the different sides of the debate with eco-liners and monster trucks respectively representing the view of those for and against.  A representation of two different  sides of this debate can be seen with reference to the websites.  On is the evidence against allowing longer heavier trucks to run in Europe whereas presents the counter position.  However these are just two aspects of the debate and various other options are also under consideration.

In the fourth Strategic European Road Research Programme (SERRP IV), FEHRL recommended that research was needed to examine possibilities for accommodate longer, heavier trucks on  Europe’s road infrastructure.  The arguments for longer, heavier trucks are primarily based on the predicted fuel and efficiency savings, whilst on the counter side are questions about safety and accelerated infrastructure damage that could result.  This study aims to provide a definitive input into this topical subject.


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