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Government decision on heavy vehicles paves the way for longer vehicles

On February 16, the government bill on Freight traffic issues was adopted. The bill contains proposals to open up designated parts of the road network for trucks with a total weight of 74 tons on roads in cases where rail or sea transport is not possible. This means that the 74-ton trucks can transport an increased quantity of goods, thus reducing emissions per ton kilometer. Thomas Asp, project leader at CLOSER, heads up the HCT program that is active in these particular issues.
Thomas Asp

Hello Thomas, what implications does the government decision have on your continued work with HCT?
“Firstly, it feels great that many years of work spent on providing supporting documents to facilitate these trucks has resulted in this important decision. It also implies that the focus will change and move towards research and demonstrations of longer vehicles.”
 
What is the next step after this decision?
“The conditions for the introduction of the bill are not yet complete, for instance, regarding how the infrastructure can be maintained to prevent early deterioration, so work is being done on this, also for vehicles that are simply heavier. Examples of efforts that are ongoing are how (and if) requirements should be made for dual-mounted wheels and control systems.”
 
In your opinion, what are the greatest challenges for HCT?
“To weight up the advantages/gains for the industry against the disadvantages/costs of the infrastructure support systems and vice versa. Another challenge is that we are waiting for a decision on whether the Swedish Transport Agency will have the possibility to enable tests with longer vehicles.
 
What else is happening in the HCT program?
“The Performance Based Standard project (PBS) is close to completion and this has been of particular interest outside Sweden. We are also waiting to commence additional field tests on longer vehicles. In addition, PBS forms part of projects run through the OECD/ITF and of a call through the Conference of European Directors of Roads, CEDR. Another large and critical project which is on-going at full speed is the demonstration of the ITK system (Intelligent Access Control). This is a system which we think will have many fields of application in the future.”