The maximum speed limit for HGVs over 7.5 tonnes on single carriageway roads is currently 40 miles per hour. Whilst the speed limit for smaller HGVs between 3.5 tonnes and 7.5 tonnes is 50 mph. In November 2011 the government made a commitment in ‘The logistics growth review – connecting people with goods’ to consult on HGV speed limits during 2012.
Stakeholders claim that the 40 mph speed limit for 7.5 tonne HGVs creates an unnecessary cost to haulage operators, and causes congestion and avoidable overtaking accidents. It is thought that raising the limit to 45 or 50 MPH will lead to more than £30 million a year in benefits for businesses through quicker journeys and reduced congestion.
However, DfT statistics on monitored free-flow roads estimate that around 70% of HGVs currently travel over 40 mph so the financial benefits may be overstated. HGVs that exceed the 40 MPH limit have an unfair advantage over those who stick to the speed limit so any increase will help to level the playing field for all.
Hauliers and motoring organisations such as the AA and Institute of Advanced Motorists, have welcomed the proposals, which they claim would prevent dangerous over-taking of slow HGVs on rural roads. However concerns have been voiced about the consequences of greater speed by cycling organisations and Brake, the road safety charity.
Have your say here.
The consultation will run until 1 February 2013.
Posted on: 13.11.2012