HGV speed limit to increase next year25 July 2014
The speed limit for heavy goods vehicles on single carriageway roads in England and Wales will be raised to 50mph from early 2015, in a move which the government says could save hauliers £11 million a year.
Transport minister Claire Perry says the change will also cut congestion and reduce dangerous overtaking.
Heavy goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes are currently restricted to 40mph on single carriageway roads – a limit set in the 1960s.
The government is also proposing to increase HGV speed limits on dual carriageways from 50mph to 60mph and has launched a six-week consultation. If agreed, the increase will take effect at the same time, early next year.
Most industry bodies are applauding the move. Geoff Dunning, from the Road Haulage Association, says: "This evidence-based decision by ministers ... will be strongly welcomed by hauliers and their drivers. The current limit is long out-of-date and the frustration it generates causes unnecessary road safety risks."
The Freight Transport Association also "strongly supports" the decision. Malcolm Bingham, head of road network management policy, says: "We believe there is evidence confirming that road safety will be improved if the differential between HGVs and other road users is reduced.
"Many motorists do not understand that the limit for lorries is only 40mph and this can lead to frustration and on occasion risky overtaking."
However, the increase is criticised by Brake, the road safety charity, which says it is "disappointed and concerned" by the announcement.
Julie Townsend, Brake's deputy chief executive, says the road safety justification for the move is "dubious", adding: "The way to address this is by preventing car drivers going too fast, not speeding trucks up."
Freight Transport Association Ltd
Road Haulage Association Ltd
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