Europe Barely Escapes Another Embarrassment

Barely have European citizens recovered from the Bavarian Bosoms Directive, than they escape another stupid regulation. Yet again a European directive - in this case the Noise Directive (2000/14/EC) - has gone through every stage of legislation: Commission, Parliament, Council, scrutiny (Hah) at the national level, and at the point of second stage implementation people cotton on to the basic fact. If it had been brought in as passed  all the following plant and construction equipment would be illegal from January 1 next year: "tracked dozers; wheel loaders less than 55 kW; screed pavers; screed finishers; vibratory plates; vibratory rammers; pedestrian vibratory rollers; forklifts, and hand-held concrete breakers" of the sort that infamously spends its time crossing roads.

So that would have meant no road repairs, no repairs to electricity, gas, water mains and so on. Thus I am delighted that the Committee set to oversee these things (the Working Group on Outdoor Equipment - great name) has "eight types of plant set for reprieve" by pointing out the lunacy of the Directive.

However, it did not so initially. In 2002 in its Position Paper on "The Implications for Directive 2000/14/EC resulting from the Study on Lawnmower Noise Reduction" (pdf) it "propose[d] to the European Parliament and Council that Stage II be implemented in its entirety."

But where the hell were the politicians, the lobbyists, the governments for gods sake while this piece of enviro-madness was passing through the system?