Road Safety News
 

Government unveils plans to increase HGV speed limit

Friday 9th November 2012

The DfT has launched a consultation regarding plans to increase the speed limit for some HGVs, which the Government believes will boost economic growth.

The current speed limit on single carriageways for HGVs over 7.5t is 40 mph. Under the proposals, announced today (9 November) by Stephen Hammond, roads minister, this could be increased to 45mph or 50mph.

The freight industry say this will help growth by improving journey times, cutting congestion and reducing costs to business and the cost of goods people buy. It could also reduce the number of collisions caused by other road users overtaking slower moving lorries, says the DfT.

Stephen Hammond said: “The Government is committed to doing everything it can to improve conditions for economic growth. We are consulting on increasing the single carriage way speed limit for certain HGVs after listening to industry experts who say that this will boost the UK economy and businesses of all sizes.

“While this is likely to lead to more than £30 million a year in benefits for businesses through quicker journeys and reduced congestion, I want to make sure we have carefully considered the evidence of all of the effects on the economy, environment and, of course, road safety before we make a decision. I welcome views from all.”

DfT statistics on monitored free-flow roads estimate that around 70% of HGVs currently travel at over 40mph and it is argued that these HGVs have an unfair competitive advantage over those which adhere to the speed limit.

The speed limit for smaller HGVs, between 3.5t and 7.5t, will remain unchanged at 50mph. This consultation does not cover any other speed limits.

Click here to read the full DfT news release, and click here to access the consultation.

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At last someone has used some common sense as most car drivers do not realise the legal limit for HGVs is 40mph on single carriage ways. Also there have been improvements over the years in vehicle technology such as ABS braking and automatic braking sensors fitted on some new lorries.
Craig Hope Norfolk

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)
0

Big mistake. Truck drivers will simply drive foot flat down in 50mph speed limits with their 56mph govenors providing immunity from any prosecution. At least at 40mph truck drivers have to think about what they are doing. Oh, and tailgaters at 40mph are not compelled to overtake, just follow at a safe distance; it won't save you much time getting past unless of course you are driving a considerable distance after you pass.
William, Gt Baddow

Agree (1) | Disagree (6)
-5

A discussion on this topic is well overdue as a truck driving friend once got pulled over by a traffic officer and asked if he could drive slightly quicker as the drivers in the tail back behind the 'legally compliant' truck driver were suicidally overtaking. He pointed out he was travelling at the maximum and there followed that, I know (look) but could you anyway...

Not certain the increase will make any real difference except in places like Scotland where the network is made up of less dual carriageways.

IMO if this topic is to be discussed it should be completed as a total review of speeds (for all roads and vehicles) rather than just a slight change.
Pierre de Carteret, Manchester

Agree (5) | Disagree (7)
-2

As the speed limits are in place mainly due to the issues of stopping distances and vehicle weight, can one assume that that all vehicles will suddenly have better brakes?

Will they suddenly have a system that stops the tailgaiting? Will the perceived boost to the economy make up for the increased loss to the economy when the collisions are more frequent and, at higher speeds, more destructive?
Iain, Suffolk

Agree (11) | Disagree (6)
+5

Surely it would make more sense to increase the limit for HGVs on dual carrrageways and motorways where speed differential is the big danger. Anyone using the A1 regularly will know the issues caused by this.
Dave, Leeds

Agree (9) | Disagree (3)
+6

About time this limit was updated. I think it should be 50, it will reduce frustration which is one of many causes of accidents.
Robert Bolt, Chiswell Green

Agree (10) | Disagree (13)
-3

So, in other words, our country's economic growth is currently being held back by HGV drivers who refuse to go over their speed limit? ..... Really??

I'm on the road every day, training drivers and very rarely see HGV drivers who kept near their speed limit unless they are forced to by the vehicle that they're tailgating.

Sadly, our experts seem more concerned with making it look like they're helping industry than preventing more deaths on our roads.
Eon Hetherton, Glasgow

Agree (23) | Disagree (5)
+18

If 70% currently travel over 40mph, then it follows that the same 70% will travel over 50mph if the changes happen. Car drivers will still overtake but will now have to go even faster to get past the HGVs
Kathy Higgins, Liverpol

Agree (14) | Disagree (8)
+6

“…..it is argued (by whom?) that these HGVs have an unfair competitive advantage over those which adhere to the speed limit..”
Where did that gem come from...an episode of “Whacky Races”? “Top Gear”?

“…..help growth by improving journey times, cutting congestion and reducing costs to business and the cost of goods people buy. It could also reduce the number of collisions caused by other road users overtaking slower moving lorries….”!!

Such naivety and child-like logic would be endearing if it emanated from a primary school project, but this comes from the DfT and “industry experts”!

Sadly, it’s becoming the way of the world for the powers that be to think it more important to say what they think people want to hear, rather than to reason things through.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (17) | Disagree (5)
+12