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IN A FIERY speech, Transport Commissioner Stanley Clinton Davis pledged swift action by the EEC Commission on its recommendations for a Common Transport Policy — but had to admit that the Council of Ministers cannot be guaranteed to endorse them.
He slammed the Ministers for their inability to agree on a common policy and said angrily: "They have a perfect genius for doing nothing.'' He described as unprecedented the recent European Court of Justice judgment on the Ministers for failing to act, but could only tell delegates he hoped that the Ministers would now be spurred into immediate action.
The Commission wants to make a decision by the end of the year on common weights, vehicle tax, drivers' hours and railways finance policy. "The rest is up to the Ministers," he said. While they have already agreed on maximum weights, the Ministers have still to resolve the difficult question of the drive-axle weight.
Also agreed in principle hut waiting to be finalised are measures to harmonise the commercial vehicle taxation systems of the EEC states.
Although Davis would not discuss the details of the revision of drivers' hours he said any decision was enormously important to working lives and road safety, and would be the subject of further contentious debate.
Finally, he hoped for a decision on a better common infrastructure, capital structure of railways, and less unfair competition among the airline companies and shippers. And with the phasing out of bilateral quotas and permit requirements, the replacement system should be based on qualitative criteria applicable to all hauliers, he saic That meant new safety and efficiency controls, but he was unable to forecast when they would come.
He also said that the Commission wants combined road and rail transport to become more important because of environmental considerations.