Richard Hayes, incoming president of the Institute of Highway Engineers, wants the Government to consider freeing Britain’s motorways of HGVs on Sundays and will be writing to Mike Penning, road safety minister, to request the DfT investigates the matter.
Looking for precedents, Mr Hayes points across the English Channel to where several mainland European Union countries impose restrictions on the times and days when heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) can be driven on public roads.
France, Spain and Italy have a general ban on the movement of vehicles with a maximum gross weight of 7.5 tonnes on Sundays and during public holidays. However, there is currently no general European standard, and there is a wide variation in how long the restrictions last, when they start and finish, the types of vehicle covered and exemptions from the restrictions.
Mr Hayes says: “Restricting HGVs’ use of the road network on Sundays is commonplace throughout the rest of Europe and it is something I strongly believe we should consider introducing in the UK.
“Weekends should be a relaxing time on our roads when the network is used mainly by the general public going about their leisure activities. Many drivers are intimidated by heavy lorries thundering up and down our motorways and major A roads. Surely it is not too much to ask that we take some of the tension out of the system for one day a week.”
For more information contact Stephen Palmer, IHE, on 0207436 7487.