New official figures shed more light on how the strike and migrant disruption affected freight crossing to the Continent this summer. Meanwhile, the number of UK-registered trucks continues to fall.
Meanwhile, the Czech Republic is in trouble with the EU over ‘Driving Licence Tourism’ – and other countries for not connecting to the EU driving licence network – while Poland still lacks an electronic register of haulier infringements, and has not implemented EU laws on ‘interoperable’ truck tolls.
Also, a heads up on ‘Snowmageddon’ and a roundup of closed mountain passes. DFDS told to warn passengers about ‘imminent impacts’. Warnings over new speed camera smartphone app. Serbia sets 2017 deadline for completion of in-build motorways.
TRUCKS AVOID FRANCE OVER THE SUMMER
Calais disruption hits July-September results but numbers grow strongly overall.
The number of trucks crossing from the UK to the Continent fell by 3% between July and September this year (Q3) compared to the same period in 2014 – but it was still the second best Q3 result since records began more than thirty years ago.
More than 718,000 HGVs made the crossing in the three months – split 525,000 trucks: 193,000 unaccompanied trailers – according to new figures from the UK Department for Transport.
However, the number of trucks disembarking in France fell by 8%, the first fall since 2011.
‘There is currently insufficient information to assess whether this decrease is a new trend or a fluctuation associated with disruptions at Calais and the closure of MyFerryLink,’ says the DfT.
However, numbers were up 15% to the Netherlands, to 42,000, and by 31% to Belgium, Spain and Denmark, to 9000.
‘These increases may represent powered vehicles rerouting from Dover Strait sailings to other ports,’ says the DfT.
Meanwhile, in the year to September the overall number of HGVs travelling from the UK to the Continent grew by 6%.
Volume is now 4% higher than the pre-recession peak in 2007 and has grown consistently since June 2012.
The bulk of the increase crossed via the Dover Strait – 111,000 of the extra 173,000 taking the total to just over 3 million. The Dover Strait takes two thirds of all HGVs with the remainder split 4% English Channel and 28% North Sea.
However, 94% of unaccompanied trailers go via the North Sea and 89% of trucks cross the Dover Strait.
The number of foreign-registered HGVs grew by 8% to just under 2 million in the twelve months to September continuing an upward trend seen since 2009. Foreign trucks have grown fourfold in the past 20 years.
UK-registered trucks were down by another 5% to 297,000, 14% lower than 2009. Numbers have been tailing off steadily since 1999 though the peak was in 1996 with a share of 52%. That has now fallen to 13%.
The biggest share now goes to trucks from Poland which have grown from 3% in 2004 to 21% now.
Next biggest is Romania on 9% followed by Hungary and the Czech Republic on 4% each and Bulgaria at 3%.
Since 2005 the Netherlands’ share has fallen from 13% to 9%, Germany from 11% to 6%, Spain from 7% to 6% and France from 11% to 5%.
Also: as the summer results from Port of Dover showed freight booming while tourist numbers fell, Q3 results from Dover-Calais/Dunkirk operator DFDS today say freight volumes increased by 4.7%, and passengers by 10.3%, even while one ship was laid up on the Calais route.
And: the Czech Republic is in trouble with the European Commission for failing to combat so-called ‘Driving Licence Tourism’. In the period 2004-2011 licences were apparently issued to people living outside the country. In addition, the Czech Republic has not connected to RESPER, the EU driving licence network, and neither have Estonia, Italy, Portugal or Slovenia. Meanwhile, Poland is being taken to task for not establishing a national electronic register of road transport undertakings – on authorisations, and possible infringements by hauliers – and thus not connecting with similar system in other EU states. Poland has not implemented EU legislation on ‘interoperability’ of electronic truck tolls either. The actions were all notified in the Commission’s November 2015 infringements package.
roundup: CROSSING THE CHANNEL. Injuries sustained after an ‘unintentional and unexplained’ loss of steering control on DFDS Dover Seaways – which saw it hit the breakwater while departing last November – could have been prevented if ship staff had issued a ‘timely warning’ says the report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch. Minor injuries were reported by ‘several’ passengers and crew. MAIB recommends DFDS improve crews’ response to emergency situations, including ship systems failure, and prioritise warnings when impact is imminent. SPEED CAMERAS. Intelligent Transport Systems consortium ERTICO highlights a new, free Android smartphone app from TomTom which marks positions of fixed and mobile speed cameras in real time. The locations are updated by 4.6m users says the company. However, as pointed out by @DriveGuideGuru, such applications are illegal in many countries and subject to heavy fines, notably France. SERBIA. All motorways currently in-build, including between Belgrade and Prishtina (Kosovo) and Nis and the Bulgarian border at Dimitrovgrad/Kalotina, will be completed by April 2017 reports InSerbia.info. ‘By the beginning of April 2017, we will complete all motorways that we have started building. We have been building them for decades and talking about this for 70 years. It will dramatically increase the number of people travelling in our country and lead to economic growth,’ said Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic.