The ongoing revision of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Regulation is of critical importance to the EU’s road transport sector.
An agreement between legislators is desperately needed, followed by commitment from Member States.
Ahead of tomorrow’s negotiations between EU legislators, IRU and ETF, representing road transport employers and employees, and ESPORG, the European Secure Parking Organisation, call on the European Parliament and Council to ensure adequate working conditions for professional drivers by setting reasonable deadlines for safe and secure truck parking areas (SSTPAs).
The Parliament’s position, which favoured rapid deployment of SSTPAs, and the Council’s general approach, which significantly lowered the ambition even below the European Commission’s proposal, have clashed during the negotiations.
With Member States reluctant to go any further and embrace the changes needed and supported by the Parliament, operators, drivers and secure parking associations fear that the negotiation’s outcome will not improve drivers’ working conditions.
IRU EU Advocacy Director Raluca Marian said, “We welcome the Parliament’s position and strongly hope that it will prevail. It significantly improves the Commission’s proposal, anticipating by ten years the core network deadline to 2030 and comprehensive network to 2040. It is also by far more truck driver conscious than the Council’s position, which provides no firm commitment to building secure parking areas, instead offering a vague promise.”
“Drivers desperately need more safe and secure parking areas, a basic tenant of their working conditions. It’s the bare minimum,” she added.
Furthermore, the revision of the TEN-T Regulation is clearly linked with the recently adopted Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR).
However, it will not be possible to roll out such infrastructure without sufficient safe and secure truck parking areas.
The commercial road transport sector is missing 500,000 professional drivers. Improving working conditions, including with a proper network of secure parking areas, is vital to retaining and attracting professional truck drivers.