posted 4 years ago

Lorry Speed Limit To Increase To 50mph On Single Carriageways

Government Raises Speed Limit To Boost Haulage Industry

The Government has confirmed it will increase the speed limit for lorries on single carriageways to fifty miles per-hour from 2015 (date to be confirmed). Heavy goods vehicles over seven and a half tonnes have been limited to forty since the sixties. At this time such machinery was relatively crude so a low limit was necessary. Technology, however, has evolved and most now have an electronic stability program and air-bags, etc. The new limit – that will apply to England and Wales and bring these areas in line with Denmark and Norway - could have several benefits. Firstly, reduced journey times could enable hauliers to make more deliveries. That could increase profits. Increased revenue for hauliers could boost Government coffers too. It should, after all, receive more income tax, value added tax and fuel duty. Such funds could be spent for the benefit of the nation. Secondly, the  speed limit of forty miles per-hour – when most vehicles travel at sixty – can cause frustration behind the wheel and tempt motorists to overtake dangerously. The revised limit could reduce such manoeuvres and make the roads safer. The Government – subject to a six week consultation period – might also increase the speed limit for heavy goods vehicles on dual carriageways from fifty, to sixty. Interested parties can express their views via the online response form, and e-mail.

Transport Minister Discusses Higher Speed Limit For Hauliers

Transport Minister, Claire Perry, revealed: “We’re doing all we can to get Britain moving and boost growth. This change will do exactly that and save our haulage industry eleven million pounds a year.” She added: “Britain has one of the world’s best road safety records, yet speed limits for lorries have been stuck in the sixties. This change will remove a twenty (mile per-hour) difference between lorry and car speed limits, cutting dangerous overtaking and bringing permitted lorry speeds into line with other large vehicles like coaches and caravans.” She concluded: “Current speed limits were introduced around fifty years ago and need to be updated given improved vehicle technology”.

Road Haulage Association Representative Discusses New Speed Limit

Geoff Dunning, from the Road Haulage Association, added: “This evidence-based decision by ministers to increase the limit to fifty will be strongly welcomed by hauliers and their drivers.” Mr Dunning concluded: “The current limit is long out of date and the frustration it generates causes unnecessary road safety risks.”


The increase from 40 to 50 mph for LGVs on single carriageways is long over due, however local conditions do require more specific restricted limits to be marked more clearly particularly on bends were cambers of the road surfaces create unforeseen difficulties, or the road surface does not meet the required standard of grip.

Scary how many people comment without any understanding of what they are talking about. Truck journey times same as the 50's!! Not even close, trunk runs have more than doubled in length since the early 70's and are done in the same time. Put all the freight on the railways. Genius, does your local supermarket have a rail station attached. If not are you going to run in 25 vans instead of one truck to get the freight from the railway to the shop? Fuel consumption. Modern trucks are set up to run 'lean' at certain common speeds to improve economy. A maintained 40mph is very likely to be less economical than a maintained 50 or 56. Safety, modern trucks have more axles and therefore more brakes than older trucks used to. Additionally most have disc brakes, abs and stability controls as well as all aspects of driving style monitored at all times. Ban overtaking, great thought you can get to the shops quicker in your single occupant car. Of course there will be no point as the shelves are empty while the trucks are sat behind a crane or tractor. You won't be able to afford anything as prices rise to pay for all those extra hours and trucks needed to try and get round this. Love them or hate them society as you know it is impossible without trucks going up and down the roads. Not only that the majority of their journeys are far more necessary than the vast majority of those made by cars.

Minimal advantage to the haulage companies, and at what cost to people living next to single carriage roads in the country, with even more noise, vibration and pollution from HGVs, and more again the following year when EU maximum weights are increased, not to mention the increased risk to other road users when confronted by a HGV too wide to fit in a single lane coming around a bend on a country road, and now with even less time to brake.

Typical duplicitous government rule-making. On the one hand, suddenly all diesel car drivers are social pariahs, but here we are encouraging trucks to push out yet more of the very stuff they're claiming they want to reduce. Let's face it, trucks aren't exactly aerodynamic, so to increase the permitted speed by a mere 10 mph raises wind-drag exponentially, pushing fuel consumption up with it out of all proportion to the reduced time that the engine will be running. If our roads weren't so busy, I might have some sympathy for the proposal, but we all of us prove time and time again that increasing speed just gets us to the next jam or traffic light faster.

I wonder what the stopping distance is for a laden 40 ton artic on a wet and greasy road because that is what speed limits are about more than the economics of any situation, commercial or otherwise. It is very difficult for a well-driven car to take evasive action when something unexpected happens and very nearly impossible for a heavy articulated or even a rigid-chassis truck to duplicate the capabilities of a car when it is laden. 40-odd tons takes a lot of stopping and if there is a skid it needs a lot more road to give the driver a chance of controlling it and any impact will inevitably be a great deal more serious. If I have to be hit by something at 50mph I would rather be hit by a one-ton car designed to protect other road users than by a 40 ton housebrick. This is more ill-conceived government madness!!! The journey times over mixed A and B class roads hardly shortened when the speed limit for trucks was raised from 28mph to 40mph because the increased top speed hardly changed the average speed. Just before he retired my drayman father duplicated a run in a modern truck he used to do regularly at a governed 28mph. In spite of it now being dual carriageway for much of the journey and he was driving at the maximum allowable where he could, his journey time was only a few minutes shorter in the 1980's than the same journey in the 1950's. This and other governments should not be concerned with the speed of trucks as expanding and mosernising canals and railways and getting none-perishable goods off our roads where possible as well as reducing the numbers of heavy trucks using single carriageway roads. Furthermore they should be declaring war on empty trucks that could be filled with used packaging to be returned to the point of origin for reuse or recycling.

Other than Towns, Villages and Cities I believe all speed limits should be raised, especially on Motorways. The German Autobahns are a good example. We are now driving modern vehicles with much better braking systems and other safety features. I believe many accidents are cause by slow moving traffic. I would strongly support a raised speed limit on Motorways between the hours of 10pm to 6am.

Never seen a lorry doing less than 50mph on any road lol - get real - even on motorways if I keep to 70mph I often have a lorry up my rear end

Sorry but this is madness,when the speed limit was set bitd the trucks were a lot smaller and could travel quite freely on single lane roads, half of the single lane roads nowadys are not wide enough to take 2 lorries in opposite directions. Further more a wagon with an air bag is no use to a mother and child in a small family car in the event of impact.

I agree with the increase in speed allowed. These limits were introduced years ago, but lorries are much safer now and better designed with better steering and braking capability and anti jacknife devices fitted. Accidents will always occur, but inattention rather than speed seems to be the main cause.

About time! It is the most frustrating thing being stuck behind a Tesco or Fowler Welsh lorry along the A17. As the writer points out, it causes motorists to take dangerous risks overtaking and perhaps a 10mph difference between cars and lorries will feel less of a bind.

I am with Janet Warren send freight by rail.

Lorries should be off the roads totally and send freight by rail this easing congestion all over the country!

50 on a single carriageway is the speed that most trucks travel at anyway. How can it be that the speed for a dual carriageway is not policed at the moment. With the exception of a few drivers. Most trucks travel at 55/58 MPH now, when the limit IS 50. If the ALL did 50 MPH then we would not have the situation of one truck blocking the overtaking lane on a two lane Dual Carriageway for several miles because it can go 1 MPH faster than the truck he is attempting to overtake. There is a recent change in the Highway Code making it an offence to "Tailgate" another driver in a car. The activity needs similar legislation!!!!

Be interesting to know how Mr Brewin thinks trucks which have speed limiters set at 56mph by law are going to suddenly be doing 70mph+

The majority of lorry drivers travel at these speeds already, so this is just legalising their speeding habits. The worrying thing is, there speedins will increase even further as they travel past the new speed limite, a 38 tonner doing 70 +, scary

Presumably this is because most HGV drivers exceed the speed limit anyway.

Great News, about time.

One word Speed Kills,I have been a hgv driver for forty years and to increase speed will only put more pressure on drivers as company increases work load,HGV drivers work up to 15 hours a day or night, 10 hours driving 5 hours other work or POA,They have to drive up to 9 hours with only one 45 min break, Speed tiredness long hours at the wheel is a cocktail for disaster,You may not think so but if members of your family got wiped out by a 44 ton truck you may think again.

That's all well and good, but they should introduce no overtaking on dual carriageways for HGVs between certain times, as currently in force in Europe

Brilliant,Its about time someone seen sense,40mph what a joke.

This is bad news. The haulage industry needs winding down not encouraging. We're not talking about motorways or dual carriageways here, it's rural A roads. Narrow single carriagways that can barely take HGVs limited to 40, now they'll be allowed to hurtle about at 50. The noise / structural damage cause by a HGV at 50 is many many times that at 40. Towns and villages, like out village that has a 50 limit for cars and 40 for HGV will be terrorized by HGV now legally allowed to do 50. Makes me laugh when they talk about "old limits from the 60's need updating" they don't say that about the daft 70mph limit for cars on mways do they? No because there isn't a lobby group greasing palms like the HGV lobby have done to get this rolled through. Another sad day for our countryside.

Lorries have been doing 50mph on A roads for decades and over 60mph on motorways.The lorries were advanced enough then to do these speeds the only difference now drivers will be able to relax more and do these speeds legally.HGV drivers knew the only way to get the job done was to speed otherwise the boss wasn't to chuffed.For any motorist who is concerned,don't be,lorries have been doing these speeds for years so you won't notice any change.

Why do most people commenting think that HGV's are allowed by law to only do 56mph on the motorway. They CAN legally do 60mph on the motorway, but are governed by a limiter to 56-55-54 & lower in some cases. I suggest that these commenters have another read of the highway code.

The increase has been a long time coming the old speeds are extremely frustrating for both the HGv driver and the people having to stay behind them on minor roads,today's lories are much more capable of manuvering with safety than the old ones were,and 56 on motorways needs to be upped as well,it's most frustrating when you get umpteen lorries travelling at the same speed and attempting to overtake

This seems only right, as HGV drivers are professional drivers and know the rules of the road better than the average driver, I would like to see the speed limits for commercials brought in line with cars also, as they are definitely as advanced as most cars on the road, those people have a job to do too, especially in the internet led world of consumers now.

Excellent news! Now what can we do to end the 56mph rolling roadblock on our motorways? It it time to push for HGVs to be allowed to travel at reasonable speeds on these roads too. Speed limiters as implemented on coaches and lorries today are a hazard for the drivers themselves. Limiters endanger other road users too, as drivers who would normally remain in lanes 1 and 2 on the motorway, pull into lane 3, often travelling at 55-60mph, cutting up faster drivers and creating a dangerous situation for both themselves and the other road users around them. We need legislation to ensure that limiters on these vehicles (and vans too) are set to no less than the legal limit for the vehicle, i.e. 60mph+ (e.g. 65mph) for HGVs and 70mph+ (e.g. 75mph) for coaches. This would allow the vehicles to travel at legally permitted speeds under full control of the driver, while still preventing their being driven at speeds beyond which they can be controlled. A lorry travelling at 60mph is much more environmentally friendly than one limited to 56 stuck in a limiter induced traffic jam!

I think this rise of speed would not be a good thing because any accidents would be a bigger impact and possibly cause more deaths .I think it would be better to keep all lorries in the near side lane and no over taking at any time .

So the Government have accepted that the technology in lorries has moved on enough since the sixties, that the speed limit for them can be increased; shame they don't understand that the technology in cars has moved on too, and the 70mph Motorway speed limit is also outdated.....

Yes lets make the LGV drivers drive faster for longer.The longer and faster he drives the more accidents he will have Also the 50 mph will become 56mph that all LGVs are limited to you can do a lot of damage with a 44ton vehicle at 56 mph

The majority of lorry drivers brake present speed limit it does not make any divergence they have to keep up with there schedule

The speed for hgv's should have been upped a long time ago, I totally agree to it being raised.I used to be a long distance driver, the speeds cost to much time on the road.Up all speeds for hgv's.Limiters are dangerous, they can cause accidents and have done.

Alot of car drivers don't realise that there are different speed limits for hgv's and i quite often get the two fingered salute as they pass��

What's the point in raising the motorway limit to sixty when around 99% of british lorries are goverened by law to 56 MPH or less in the case of some blue chip companies.

Technology may have improved. Same old drivers that cant cope with speed, overtaking or junctions. Cept for me, of course.

Yes, I'm for that!, stops possible accidents from frustrated motorists trying to overtake them.

Why stop at 5o?? Lets make it 60 same as cars...if its all for the sake of good commercial reasons..whats a few mashed cyclists or joggers?

How long have we had the 70 limit on motorways for cars? Has advancement in car technology, ie brakes, suspension etc not increased sufficiently to warrant increasing the limit to 80 mph?

The technology has improved much more in normal cars than lorries so why are we still stuck at 70...?

This means they would get to the next traffic jam much quicker!woweee

This is a good move as most don't travel at 40 anyway but will hopefully stop drivers getting bored frustrated and annoyed when sat behind them and risking people's lives by over taking in dangerous situations. But please stop them over taking one another and blocking both lanes as they drive up a hill neck and neck.

At last. It's very rare to see a Heavy Goods Vehicle travelling at 40m.p.h. on todays roads, and if you do happen upon one there is usually a long queue behind it. Modern vehicles can and do travel much faster with safety.

This is very good news for haulage and road safety in general.