CIPRA representatives:

Personal tools

  Search filter  

Further Information


Gigaliners: a danger to people and nature

Feb 19, 2024 / Michael Gams, CIPRA International
Trucks weighing up to 60 tonnes and 25 metres long: the European Parliament’s Transport Committee voted in favour of so-called gigaliners in mid-February 2024 – despite the serious concerns expressed by CIPRA.
Image caption:
No climate protection: Longer and heavier lorries would place an even greater burden on people and the environment in the Alpine region. (c) Canva_comstock

One gigaliner could replace three conventional lorries: this argument by the truck lobby suggests improved climate protection, but the opposite is the case, as CIPRA made clear in a letter to the Transport Committee on 7 February 2024. The letter refutes the proponents’ arguments point by point. Gigaliners would lead to more transport by road instead of rail, as a recent study by the European Rail Transport Association shows. The result would be up to 10.5 million additional lorry journeys per year, 6.6 million tonnes of additional CO2 emissions, and a tripling of external costs.

Greater risks, more serious accidents

Overtaking overlong lorries takes longer, and they pose greater risks to other road users than normal lorries when turning, at junctions, roundabouts and at motorway junctions. Longer clearance times at level crossings are an additional safety risk. Furthermore, the consequences of accidents increase in severity with the weight of the lorry. “All these factors apply even more in the Alpine region with its steep and winding roads. As the Alpine transit routes also run along and through countless villages and watercourses, every gigaliner represents an additional danger to people and to nature”, says Kaspar Schuler, Executive Director of CIPRA International.

Cheaper for hauliers, more expensive for taxpayers

Gigaliners also mean considerable additional costs for taxpayers: Intersections, roundabouts, emergency stopping bays in tunnels and lorry parking spaces would all have to be expanded. Maintenance costs would rise, as the weight of these giant lorries would put more strain on bridges and roads. Paradoxically, while on the one hand they make freight transport cheaper, on the other they lead to an increase in lorry journeys and significantly and permanently rising costs for public budgets. “The volume of Alpine transit traffic must be fundamentally reduced, better managed and shifted to more environmentally friendly transport routes, such as rail”, says Schuler. Concrete proposals such as the auctioning of freight slots have been on the table for years.


Sources and further information: (en), (de)