§ Mr. Squire
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if there is a standard definition of heavy goods vehicles, for statistical and administrative purposes in each of the 12 EEC countries.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
There is no standard definition of heavy goods vehicle for administrative purposes in the 12 EEC countries. Each country has its own definition, mostly based on gross vehicle weight—for example, 2.8 tonnes in West Germany, 3.0 tonnes in France and 3.5 tonnes in the United Kingdom. For driver licensing purposes, most countries require a special licence only for 209W vehicles in excess of 7.5 tonnes gvw. The only statistical definition is that all goods vehicles over 6 tonnes gvw must be heavy goods vehicles. Again most countries adopt the same limit, which they use for administrative purposes.
OECD has proposed a standard definition in the road safety area that uses the 3.5 tonnes limit which is used in the United Kingdom.