FTA welcomes HGV speed limit consultation Nov 9, 2012

"Legitimising a new speed limit will take away the stress felt by all drivers in these circumstances which we believe will lead to improved road safety."

Malcolm Bingham, FTA's Head of Road Network Management Policy

The Freight Transport Association has welcomed the announcement by the Department for Transport (DfT) of the consultation Examining the speed limit for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) over 7.5T on single carriageway roads.

FTA has long campaigned on this subject, supporting a reduction in the speed differential between HGVs and other vehicles on single carriageway roads. The logistics industry is resolute in believing that a 40mph speed limit causes unnecessary cost to vehicle operators, congestion, avoidable overtaking collisions and further still creates an uneven playing field for businesses.

According to the DfT the policy objective is to maximise the benefits of travel to society, taking into account the sum of economic, environmental and safety outcomes by considering a change to the current 40mph maximum speed limit for HGVs over 7.5 tonnes on single carriageway roads. The intention is to ease unnecessary congestion which results in time delays for motorists, whilst reducing the temptation for risky overtaking manoeuvres by motorists. 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.

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.

"Another issue that has been raised is the acceptability of travelling at a higher speed than that set by the national speed limits. DfT figures indicate that many drivers may exceed the 40mph limit on these single carriageway roads. Whilst our members would not want their drivers to disobey any speed limit, it creates a stressful situation when driving a vehicle at a lower speed than others particularly when other road users try to encourage the HGV to move faster.

"Legitimising a new speed limit will take away the stress felt by all drivers in these circumstances which we believe will lead to improved road safety."


Notes for editors

Launched on 9 November 2012, the consultation runs until 1 February 2013, and is in response to a DfT commissioned report by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) to provide an evidence-base, analysis and reasoned opinion on whether or not there is likely to be any road safety risk involved in increasing the speed limit of heavy good vehicles exceeding 7.5 tonnes on single carriageway de-restricted roads from 40mph to 50mph (or possibly 45mph).
 

 

FTA Press Office

01892 552255
press.office@fta.co.uk