MEP backs ESTA on permits and infrastructure

Dutch MEP Caroline Nagtegaal has written to the European Commission in support of ESTA’s campaign to develop heavy transport corridors across Europe and reduce the bureaucracy caused by the maze of different permits required by member states.

Her action follows a meeting earlier this month with ESTA Director Ton Klijn who detailed the problems being faced by exceptional transport companies across Europe. 

The timing of the MEP’s intervention is significant as talks are currently underway in Brussels on the financing of key infrastructure networks from 2021 to 2027 under the Connecting Europe Facility. Those discussions include a request from European armed forces and NATO to strengthen the continent’s infrastructure to make it easier to move heavy military loads.

Following the meeting with ESTA – the European Association of Abnormal Road Transport and Mobile Cranes – Nagtegaal has written to the Commission’s transport directorate requesting that the needs of exceptional transport operators as well as the military are included in these talks. 

She also asked the Commission what plans it had to reduce bureaucracy and simplify licensing arrangements for exceptional transport, and she has called on the Commission to “focus on the digitization of permits for exceptional transport, which is already happening for normal truck transport within the European Union”.

Nagtegaal has experience of the transport sector having previously worked for the Royal Schiphol Group in Amsterdam and the Port of Rotterdam Authority. 

She said: “I am optimistic that my and ESTA’s concerns will be taken seriously and acted upon because it fits into the EU’s Connecting Europe strategy, something that is high profile.

“I will also be raising this issue with colleagues active in the transport sector and with other countries within the European Parliament’s Liberal Group. ESTA’s concerns are a clear example of how the internal market needs to be developed and reformed.”