Does size matter? Photo: Malin Thelin/Sveriges Radio.

New EU law could ban Sweden's long lorries

By law lorries in Swede can be as long as 25 metres. That is more than most other countries in the EU, and a new law could make Sweden cut down to the standard 18.7 metre length. Currently politicians in the Parliament are discussing what the law could look like.

Austrian Green MEP Eva Lichtenberger says that the rules have to be mostly the same across Europe, and that big lorries take freight away from railways.

But Swedish MEP Christofer Fjellner, of the conservative Moderate Party says road and rail do not need to compete, but can help each other, and he also says if companies need to switch to shorter lorries this would mean more pollution.

Swedish Radio News reports that experts are divided on whether longer lorries are better for the environment, since while it makes it possible to use fewer lorries, they also cause more damage.

In the EU three-quarters of all freight is taken by road. Greenhouse gas emissions from transport in the EU have grown from 771 million tonnes of CO2 in 1990, to 932 tonnes in 2009, according to Eurostat.

The EU Parliament and the EU member states are currently negotiating on proposals for a change in the law on long lorries.

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