Weights and dimensions of heavy-duty vehicles under development
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has launched a project to develop the weights and dimensions of heavy-duty vehicles. The aim is to improve cost efficiency and energy efficiency and to reduce the emissions from transport.
Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner sees the reform as essential.
- This project is a good example of how new transport solutions can be developed with the help of trials. Businesses have needed to develop the weights and dimensions of heavy-duty vehicles and experiences have been gathered in trials over several years. In this case, the benefits are so significant from society's point of view that the trial will be turned into practice through legislative amendments, says Minister Berner.
The project will reform legislation to allow longer, new types of combinations in road transport. The starting point is that these longer combinations should be able to use the same routes as current combinations. In the beginning, amendments will be made to the Government Decree on the Use of Vehicles on the Road and to Trafi's regulations.
Longer combinations mean combinations the size of which is suitable for transporting two long sea containers and semitrailers that are longer than the ones used currently. The dimensions will be specified in more detail during the drafting.
HCT transports, transports that are longer or heavier than usual, have been trialled since 2013 with special permits granted by Trafi. Based on the experiences gained in the trials, it can be concluded that the amendments would significantly benefit the transport of sea containers, general cargo and food transports, in particular. These transports represent almost half of all goods transports on the roads, so the benefits to society are significant.
The development project will be continued during 2018 with separate drafting of the amend-ments required for the introduction of combinations that are heavier than currently. As a rule, these heavier combinations can only be allowed to operate within a limited road network.
The drafting of the legislative amendments will begin in the Ministry of Transport and Communications in cooperation with the interest groups. A consultation round will be organised in March.
More information on the project is available in the Government's web service at www.valtioneuvosto.fi/hankkeet (in Finnish)
(drafting of statutes)
The legislative amendments concerning the length of combined vehicles are planned to enter into force in autumn 2018.
Amendments concerning the introduction of heavier combinations will be drafted separately during 2018.
Erik Asplund, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 34 2277