Introduction of Longer and Heavier Trucks on Dutch Roads
L Aarts, T Hesselmans, CROW: National Information and Technology Platform for Infrastructure, Traffic, Transport and Public Space, NL
After a succesful trial the Netherlands will allow longer (25,25M) and heavier (60T) trucks. By showing the characteristics of the Dutch road network, the paper will reveal the obstacles (or the absence of) regarding road construction and traffic.
From 2004 till 2006, the Netherlands held a large-scale and severe test with longer (25,25M) and heavier (60T) trucks. The dimensions of these trucks are similar with the European Modular System. These trucks are already operational in Sweden and Finland. The monitoring results of the test in the Netherlands were positive. In august 2006 the Minister of Transport decided to allow EMS-combinations on Dutch roads on the basis of exemptions until 1 November 2007. Till than, the participants of the trial can keep on driving under the same conditions as within the test. The government will use this period to built a permanent regime based on a system of exemptions. One aspect is to investigate the concrete meaning of the introduction of these vehicles for road design and traffic flow, and not only on highways but also on the subordinated road network.
One should remember that the Netherlands are a small country with small distances, with a fine branched and heavily used road network. On first sight these dimensions therefore does not seem appropriate for introducing bigger trucks. The Transport Research Centre of the Ministry of Transport started an inquiry on the effects of the introduction of longer and heavier trucks on the road infrastructure. This was done in cooperation with CROW (National Information and Technology Platform for Infrastructure, Traffic, Transport and Public Space). The used methodology is divers: from experts opinions to calculations.
The paper on the ETC conference will reveal the results of the national inquiry. By showing the characteristics of the Dutch road infrastructure, the paper reveals the possible obstacles (or the absence of) concerning road construction, structural works, road design, traffic flow and traffic safety. The paper will also show how the obstacles will be met in a small and busy country like the Netherlands are.
Association for European Transport