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 Mr Dunning concluded: “The current limit is long out of date and the frustration it generates causes unnecessary road safety risks.”