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.