Euro VI will take time, say manufacturers

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) has welcomed the European Commission's latest plans for cleaner trucks, but warns that it will need time to develop the necessary technology. The EC will now send its proposals for the Euro-6 emission standard to the European Parliament for approval the timetable for implementation has yet to be decided.

Ivan Hodac, secretary general of the ACEA, says: "The EC has adopted the most stringent set of emission limits for Euro-6 and they will certainly be a technical challenge that will require substantial development effort and investment. Industry needs time to recoup investment in Euro-5 products and adequate lead-time before Euro-6 becomes mandatory."

The EU introduced the Euro-1 standard for trucks in 1991. Subsequent emission standards have consistently cut acceptable exhaust emissions which are now approaching zero, according to the ACEA. It points out that Euro-6 will cut nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions by 95% and 98% respectively compared with Euro-1. The ACEA represents 14 manufacturers including Daf, Daimler, Fiat(Iveco), MAN, Volkswagen and Volvo (including Renault Trucks).

Licence-dodging firms lose at appeal

Several related haulage firms involved in illegal cabotage in order to dodge UK licensing regulations have seen the impounding of their trucks and trailers upheld by the Transport Tribunal. Four firms - Romantiek Transport BVBA Gary Ban-ham, trading as Mendlesham Group Car and Commercials Lotransport BVBA and JB Trans BVBA - had appealed following an earlier decision of senior traffic commissioner Philip Brown to uphold the impounding.

VOSA officials seized the trucks, all save one Belgian-registered, in a co-ordinated operation in October 2006. The trucks had been operated on domestic container work, controlled from the UK. They had also come to VOSA's attention through a series of overloading offences: one 44-tonner was stopped and found to be overloaded by 70%.

VOSA said the intensity of the national haulage work undertaken was such that there would have been insufficient time in the intervening period for international journeys to be undertaken - vital if the work was to qualify as cabotage. There were strong links between the companies and individuals involved, centring on Gary Banham, who had previously run a nine-truck international haulage operation, trading as Scorpion Freight, until its licence was revoked in 2000.

The three other businesses all had strong links to Banham, his father Garith and Joseph Baron. It was believed that the vehicles were being illegally operated by Gary and Garith Banham, with Baron acting as a "front" in Belgium. The Tribunal said there was no doubt that the Belgian companies were a device in order to enable Gary Banham, with the assistance of his father, to continue operating vehicles in the UK once he had been disqualified from holding an O-licence here.

They were satisfied that Brown's decision not to return the vehicles and trailers was correct.