The Government has pressed ahead with plans to raise the speed limit for lorries despite being warned of a likely increase in road deaths, according to the Telegraph.
In early 2015 the maximum speed for HGVs on single carriageway roads will rise from 40mph to 50mph under plans announced in July.
At the time, Baroness Kramer, transport minister said that the change will “modernise an antiquated restriction”. She also said the move will reduce speed differences between different types of traffic and cut dangerous overtaking.
The Telegraph article says “an internal impact assessment of the plans warned ministers that it would likely lead to an additional two to three fatal accidents and four to nine serious accidents per year, while saving the haulage industry more than £15m and raising an extra £2m for the Government in fuel duty”.
Susan Elan Jones, MP for Clwyd South, has urged ministers to reconsider. She told Parliament: “Many of us are very concerned about this proposal, when the minister’s own impact assessment makes it clear that is likely to increase deaths and serious injuries on our roads.”
In response, Claire Perry, transport minister, said the move could improve safety by reducing dangerous overtaking.
Ms Perry said: “We have assessed the deaths that might occur from the change, but we have also assessed the impact of not needing to overtake platooning lorries driving far below speed limits that already apply to other large vehicles such as coaches and caravans.”
The Telegraph says the Government’s impact assessment mentions the possibility of a reduction in collisions caused by risky overtaking, but adds that any “potential benefit has not been quantified because we do not have sufficient confidence that it would occur”.
Click here to read the full Telegraph article.