Ban HGVs on Sundays says new IHE president

12.00 | 28 June 2012 | | 5 comments

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.


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    Bob – we have a limit of around 150 words for reader posts. We introduced this in response to a number of lengthy posts which slowed down the pace of debate. Your previous post considerably exceeded the 150 word limit which is why it was edited -nothing to do with the content being controversial, simply that you considerably exceeded the word count.

    Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety GB newsfeed
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    In my last comment I wanted to make a comparison between the mileage and/or time differential for HGVs and other smaller commercial and private vehicles.

    This was not included in the report and I believe that it is valuable for comparison’s sake. I would therefore ask u to include it within the text as was.

    PS: I do not consider it to be controversial but complimentary and somewhat central to my arguement.

    Bob Craven, Lancs
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    Compared with other European countries we excel at allowing freight to use our motorway system. Abroad they were able to remove HGVs from such roads and place them on railways, something we could not do last century. It means that our motorways take 2/3rds of all freight movements in this country. That’s a lot of HGVs, all limited to 57 mph.

    What Mr Hayes needs to do is look at motorway traffic congestion in relation to HGVs and their need to travel two abreast for mile after mile at the same speed and sometimes talking through the open cab windows to each other!

    This costs the nation millions of miles and millions of pounds of lost revenue according to the Eddington report on Transport 2006.

    Simply a HGV travelling at 56 mph over 10 hrs driving can do 560 miles in a day. However if he loses only one mph his journey over that time will be extended by 10 miles and about 15 minutes.

    Bob Craven, Lancs
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    This is widely applied in most EU countries. The prohibitions vary from country to country and usually include a total ban on all 7.5 ton and larger LGVs 00.00 – 22.00 hrs and truck-trailer combinations every Sunday and on declared Bank or Religious holidays. Also there are Saturday restrictions in many countries during July and August to enable cars to travel to and from holiday destinations. My understanding is that these laws are based on social and quality of life principles and, for Summer traffic, for traffic management to relieve congestion, rather than as a casualty reduction measure.

    Honor Byford, North Yorkshire
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    I don’t understand a Sunday ban. This is certainly not a safety issue. The statistics show that there are a lower number of collisions on a Sunday than any other day of the week. I haven’t looked at HGV collision numbers for Sunday; my guess would be that they were lower than the week days.

    Now banning them from AM and PM peak traffic Monday to Friday will be very beneficial to road safety.

    Adam, Hants
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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