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LABEL Newsletter NÂș 4 : january 2011

by MICHAEL NIELSON - General Delegate - International Road Transport Union (IRU)

IRU / ITF Implementation Plan on Secure Truck Parking Areas and Labelling

For a Sustainable System of Truck Parking Area Development, Geographic Localisation, Standardisation and Assessment

The International Road Transport Union (IRU) and the International Transport Forum (ITF) proposed an implementation plan on locating secure truck parking areas (TPA) and labelling them. Their plan was presented at the Truck Parking Conference staged by the Belgian EU Presidency, the European Commission and the LABEL project in Brussels, on 25 and 26 October 2010.

On the occasion of the conclusion of the LABEL project, the International Road Transport Union (IRU) and the International Transport Forum (ITF) recall that both the IRU and the ITF, as well as their industrial and governmental members, have long been engaged in promoting an increase of the number of truck parking areas (TPA) in the EU and in non-EU countries. This also involved making their location known to transport planners and drivers in the light of a very significant gap between the available for secure parking for commercial vehicles and the demand for secure parking for these vehicles.

The IRU and ITF appreciate that the Belgian EU Presidency Ministry of Interior has proposed a Council Resolution, that was adopted by the EU Ministers of Internal Affairs and Justice on 8 November 2010, to combat freight transport crime, by calling for EU Member States to create more secure TPAs and ensure that information about such TPAs and their main features, in particular their geographic location, is widely accessible to users. Undeniably, it is primarily a responsibility for governments to create a sufficient number of secure and high level truck parking areas and to make information about their location available.

The IRU and the ITF believe that the SETPOS and LABEL pilot projects, co-financed by the European Commission, have in the first place created a best practice scheme for high quality and high security truck parking areas in the EU, and in the second place, through the LABEL project, developed a labelling scheme which depicts the security and comfort levels of such facilities. This scheme, including a set of TPA standards, self-assessment tools and assessment guidelines, is now ready for use.

It is a clear intention of the cooperating partners to continue to push for more TPAs to be established and information on their location and main features to be widely published, to enable users to make informed choices. In this respect the IRU and the ITF declare their willingness to operate, maintain and, if needed, further develop the truck parking location and labelling scheme developed by the European Commission co-funded LABEL project.

In order to guarantee a stable framework for these activities, the IRU and the ITF will develop a joint implementation scheme covering the International and National TPA Assessment Committees and the powerful TPA information web platform, TRANSPark, hosting the new facilities for TPA self-assessment and the assessment guidelines as developed by LABEL alongside the traditional TPA registration and search tool.

The IRU and the ITF will convoke the first session of the International TPA Assessment Committee by the spring 2011. All further activities at international and national levels will be rolled out according to a programme to be approved by the first session of this Committee.

The IRU and the ITF will do their utmost to promote road transport security and safety through the wide application of the truck parking area standardisation and assessment tools.