FTA welcomes consultation on HGV speed limits
Members of the Freight Transport Association (FTA) have welcomed a decision by the Department for Transport (DfT) to look into the speed limit for heavy goods vehicles.
The DfT announced a consultation on the matter at the end of last week, proposing an increase in speed limit for some HGVs in a bid to boost economic growth in the UK.
Roads Minister Stephen Hammond listened to claims by the freight industry, where members have claimed that a raise in the speed limit will help improve journey times, thus cutting congestion and reducing costs to business and thus the purchase price of consumer products.
It could also reduce the number of collisions caused by other road users overtaking slower moving lorries.
The current speed limit on single carriageways for HGVs over 7.5t is 40 mph. Under the proposals, this could be increased to 45mph or 50mph.
In a statement released online, the FTA, which has campaigned on this subject, spoke out in support of the speed limit increase.
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‘The intention is also to level the playing field for businesses, as HGVs which are travelling above the maximum speed limit currently have a competitive advantage over those that are adhering to the maximum 40mph speed limit,’ an FTA spokesperson said.
Malcolm Bingham, FTA Head of Road Network Management Policy commented:
"We believe that firstly it will reduce the number of incidents where drivers overtake or attempt to overtake slower moving HGVs which are simply complying with the national speed limit. We know from observations by FTA members that motorists on these roads often become impatient and take unacceptable risks to get past goods vehicles.”
Roads Minister 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.”
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