German government and Brussels urged to act on heavy transport crisis

ESTA has written to the German government and the European Commission pleading for them to take urgent action to resolve the crisis facing heavy transport in Germany caused by weak infrastructure and long delays in issuing permits.

The strongly worded letter also calls on ministers and commissioners to set out a detailed long-term plan for heavy transport to stop the current situation being repeated in future years.

The letter was written by ESTA Director Ton Klijn with the support of the ESTA Board.

He wrote: “Central and regional governments – both politicians and officials – and Autobahn GmbH have to date completely failed to recognise the gravity of the situation.

“They have declined to adopt any immediate, short-term measures to ease this crisis or shown any sign of developing the long-term policies required for an efficient, modern industrial economy.”

The letter underlined the frustration felt by both heavy transport companies and their industrial clients.

It continued: “Heavy transport is an increasingly important service industry. We deliver heavy equipment from the factory to the ports for export, we transport the wind turbines essential for Europe’s net zero ambitions, we carry the growing number of industrial and building units that are constructed offsite before being taken to their destinations. The German government’s grand plans for an energy turnaround and a green economy are an illusion without functioning abnormal transport.

“Yet the transport companies and our clients are hampered every step of the way by a bureaucracy that is unable or unwilling to consider realistic solutions and politicians who are too often afraid to look beyond the next election.”

The letter concluded by calling on the German national and regional governments – and the roads authority Autobahn GmbH – to turn this crisis into an opportunity, and lead all of Europe towards a series of sensible and long overdue policies to support heavy transport that will have a great and positive economic impact.

It adds: “The revision of the Directive 96/53/EC on weights and dimensions for road transport, currently in progress, offers a golden chance to realise such an initiative.”

Please have a look here for the full text of the letters.