A pilot scheme involving the use of longer HGVs is cutting road congestion and improving air quality and safety, according to the DfT.
The DfT says the use of longer ‘semi-trailers’ to transport goods between warehouses and depots has saved up to 10.6m vehicle kilometres, or up to 90,000 journeys.
Launched in 2011, the scheme involves approximately 1,800 trucks and is also expected to save more than 3,000 tonnes of CO₂ emissions.
The DfT says that the economic benefits of the project are estimated at £33m over the next 10 years, with British hauliers saving up to one in nine journeys as a result of the new lorries, which are up to 15% longer than standard 13.60metre HGVs.
The DfT also says the longer lorries are safer and have been involved in around 70% fewer collisions and casualties, per kilometre, compared to the average for standard articulated lorries.
The DfT is now consulting with trade associations and participants on whether to increase the number of vehicles in the trial.
John Hayes, transport minister, said: “Lorries are the engine of our economy and this pilot scheme is helping hauliers deliver the day-to-day goods we need more efficiently.
“This is good news for consumers, a boost for motorists as it is helping cut congestion with fewer vehicles on the road and it is also helping the environment.”
However, while the Government is keen to reduce the number of lorries on the roads, figures published recently by MotorTransport.co.uk show a hike in the number of HGV driving test passes in the year ending March 2016.
The figures show the number of ‘Category C’ tests increased by 29% year-on-year to 45,513 (35,303 in 2015), with a corresponding increase in the pass rate which was up 30% to 24,502 (from 18,867).