Permit system would save hundreds of millions

18 October 2011

As much as Euro 250 million would be saved every year if Europe adopted a uniform system of permits and best practice for abnormal road transport, writes Graham Anderson.

That is the conclusion of a survey carried out by ESTA, the European association of abnormal road transport and mobile cranes. The findings were published at the 13 and 14 October meeting of ESTA's transport section, held in Edinburgh, Scotland, during the association's annual autumn meeting.

The survey was carried out to support ESTA's campaign to persuade the European Commission to back the implementation of the European Best Practice Guidelines for Abnormal Road Transport.

Aims of the survey are to define the total economic impact of abnormal road transport and to analyse the cost of obtaining different permits for each member state. Responses were received from companies in ten countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Between them they account for 86% of the European Union's gross domestic product.

It concluded that the total annual turnover of the abnormal road transport industry is about Euro 24 billion and that the current fragmented system of obtaining permits costs the industry Euro 500 million every year - of which half could easily be saved by creating an agreed Europe-wide system of permits and standards.

"By implementing the proposals from the European Best Practice Guidelines for Abnormal Road Transport we are convinced that potential savings on obtaining permits can amount to 50% of the total annual permit costs," ESTA's Wim Richie told the meeting. "And that means potential yearly savings within the EU of around 250 million euros."

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