posted 6 years ago

New Speed Limit For Lorries Over 7.5 Tonnes

The Government is considering raising the speed limit on single carriageways for lorries over 7.5 tonnes

The Government is considering raising the speed limit on single carriageways for lorries over 7.5 tonnes. As such it could rise from 40 to 45mph, or to 50mph. But this is only a proposal. It is therefore the subject of a Government Consultation Document that highlights some of the likely advantages and disadvantages. Potential benefits include:

  • Reduced congestion/frustration. Why? Because lorries travelling at 40mph - when the surrounding traffic can travel at 60mph - tend to be followed by platoons of potentially faster vehicles. As such thousands of motorists get delayed every year.
  • Reduced accidents. Why? Because motorists might be less likely to risk dangerous overtaking manoeuvres if they are following lorries at 50mph, rather than 40mph.
  • Levelled playing field for freight operators. Why? Because Government figures say that 70% of UK lorry traffic exceeds the current limit. In an industry that is notoriously time sensitive, that is an unfair advantage over those that follow the law. Any benefit - of course - would only apply if every lorry stuck to the new limit.
  • Stronger economy. How? By shortening journey times for freight operators. This could create time for extra deliveries which could make the businesses more profitable. That, in turn, could boost related industries such as fuel and tyre suppliers. These might then take on more staff which could reduce unemployment. These factors could then increase the Government's tax revenue.

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 carriageway speed limit for certain HGVs after listening to industry experts who say that this will boost the UK economy and businesses of all sizes.” Mr Hammond continued: “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.”

Potential disadvantages in raising the speed limit for lorries over 7.5 tonnes include:

  • Increased cost to Highways Agency/Local Authorities. Why? Because faster traffic could increase wear and tear on the road network. Lorries travelling at 50mph, after all, must transfer more energy into the tarmac than the slower equivalents.
  • More serious accidents. Why? Because the average speed of traffic could increase.
  • Environmental damage. Why? Because lorries burn more fuel travelling for, say, 100 miles at 50mph than 100 miles at 40mph. Faster traffic could also be noisier which might make life less comfortable for those that live close to major roads.

Do these environmental people know that most loaded trucks travelling at 40mph can not use top gear. At 50mph the engine will take top gear effortlessly thus saving fuel and the environment. As a truck driver for the past 30 years, I can honestly say, the closest I have been to having accidents is travelling at 40mph on good A roads. Cars get frustrated after 2-3 miles and take chances overtaking us.

I'm not sure raising the speed limit is the answer, and saying car drivers a fools is not totally right sure some do endanger other road user not just truckers, but there are many commercial drivers that could ware the same name tag too, so less name calling people living in glass houses you get my drift, and before you think what the well does she know well ive driven trucks,busses and taxis driving oher 43 years never caused any accident nor had a ticket got to my destination on time most days forward planing thinking. Days gone buy trucks went to rail stations to collect goods that had been brought via train this went down after Maggie Thatcher slashed the rail networks and trucks took over great but there were nowhere near the amount of cars etc in private ownership and never more than 1 car per household now the country is trying to back peddle get private care off the roads but the trains done co Dr lots of small places anymore mother do the buses so would Houston driving your cargo because you need it for the early starts and late finishes, so maybe the trucks picking up good at more local goods yards that had been delivered by train would-be better allround for every one cut down on long hauls builds up more rail infrastructure, takes out a lot of road congestion unturned less bad driving behavior saves time, lives, and eenvironment, to mention only a few things

if goods went by rail think of how many times the goods would have to be handled and how long to get from a to b thats why goods dont go by rail if it was a good idea dont you think it would be on the trains now ??

Level playing field?, 70% exceed current limits, tiime sensitive, you're having a laugh (?)(!). All these issues can be laid solely at the door over years of HM Govt Ministers, Highways Agency or Local Authorities and what about areas that now have excessive lengths of trunk and 'A' roads with 50mph speed limits all of which have been relatively recently imposed and now a plethera of 20mph limits how is this reconciled? True the only place for trunk route goods traffic is on an improved rail system with heavier penalties being applied on errant goods vehicles in the meantime.

We should use the rail network more for moving goods around the country which would be more economical and more carbon neutral.It would take a lot of heavy goods vehicles of the main arteries leaving trucks to do only local deliveries.

Morning, Yes i think the speed limit for us truckers should be higher, the amount of foolish car driver that try and over take on blind bends and hills is mad, they are forceing us lorry drivers to brake and let them in making us loss our speed, so if we can go that little faster then the foolish car drivers will not put our lives at risk.

I agree with you Ian my life elongator kicks in when the weather is bad and slow down according to the conditions but as you say many dont. Standing water on motorway and some just keep on with no thought about what would happen if they needed to stop. Although when conditions are right i see no reason to up the limit. Perhaps we should have like europe a compulsory limit when conditions are bad and not just advisory.

I think the low limit, as others have mentioned is redundant with most drivers exceeding it on the carriageways anyway. But there lies the problem. My observation, is that most of all kinds of drivers still don't drive for the conditions, which is more important than the legal limit. I frequently slow down in heavy traffic or bad weather, which is good sense. However, I rarely see the lorries use that safe logic. What price safety?

Totally agre that speed should be raised to 60 mph, travel the A9 regularly in Scotland and people almost try suicide to get past lorry doing 40mph, if doing 60 or 56 mph drivers would hopefully wait until safe place to overtake

About time this was changed, we use more fuel at 40mph because of having to use a higher gear, also car drivers will almost commit suicide to get past you at 40, at least at 50 they are more likely to stay behind a wait for a more sensible place to overtake.

Living in West Wales where we don't have Duel Carriageways or Motorways, It's about time the government did something to alleviate the problems we face of slow traffic.Get rid of the stupid European law restricting HGV's to 56 when the law is 60. 4 Miles an hour for a long distance truck on the motorways will lose a truck an average of 4 hours a week. That's 2x 8hr days per month. Clever or what?

i agree with tony bampton he has hit the nail on the head...i my self im a hgv driver with over 15 yrs driving artics national and international. what most people need to understand 90% of all goods are diliv to shops on hgvs etc i say let them truckers rattle on at end o the day we are prof drivers.. with lots of miles under are belts 100kms [60miles] limit for hgvs !!!!! 50 on single roads ..wake up and smell the coffee people [car drivers,government]...

Many ( it seems most) vehicles of this weight already travel at the speed set by the speed limiter wherever possible. So we already have lorries travelling at a similar speed to the traffic around it ie 56 mph and 60 mph

never mind the speed on A class roads most drivers have to drive over 40 to make up time lost due to the school runs in the morning and late afternoons. put the motorway speed back to 60 . let trucks use the bus lanes ,they do that in sunderland at peak times.

Thin end of the wedge? Bought time they banned overtaking anyway as drivers are so bad at it.

The Government could further reduce congestion by limiting HGV's to the inside lane only on dual carriageways and motorways during peak hours, lets say between 6 - 9:30am and 4 - 7:30pm. This would resolve the issue of HGV's trying to overtake each other and taking mile upon mile to do so. We calculate that our business loses roughly £4700 per year due to excessive journey times caused by HGV's

As a HGV driver for 25years their has been massive strides in technology on safety and efficiency for all vehicles, driving a HGV loaded at 44ton at 50mph is far more efficient as most trucks now are fully automatic when driving at 40mph the vehicle is constantly changing up and down making the truck less efficient and fuel costs being the biggest outlay for transport companies is vital to many of them surviving these hard times, as for safety to other road users maybe they should take a look at themselves and impatience and poor attitude to lorry drivers

The environmental damage of the lorries using more fuel would be balanced out by cars using less fuel as the most economical cars are high geared and are most economical above 50mph and pull mor smoothly at 60mph. This is also a good argument against the 40mph speed limits on roads that always used to be 60mph. If you want an example of ludicrous speed limits, there is a dual carriageway that bypasses the village of Laceby in Lincolnshire that is 50mph (with speed cameras), if you leave Grimsby on this road you get to a roundabout which, if you go straight on, is single carriageway but here you are allowed 60mph. I heard a rumour that the reason it is 50mph is that there is no crash barriers between the 2 carriageways. So they had the choice of putting in crash barriers (costs them money) or strangling the perfectly good road and putting in speed cameras (raises them money). I think if the people in charge of our transport were designing a game of monopoly, you would have to pay to pass Go!

Steven Turvil's style of writing is nearly as annoying as the 40 limit for trucks. Why? Because he writes " Why? Because" into every paragraph:(

I drove hgv's for 44yrs. 95% of us drove at 50mph on single track roads when conditions were safe, because A. 40 is an unrealistic speed to get your days work done, and B it was too dangerous because of frustrated car drivers taking silly risks in order to pass you. HGV drivers won't drive any differently to how they've always driven, except the worry of losing their license because of some outdated speed limit would be removed.

Yes its a good idea but make lorries stay in the first lane only as well as coaches .

Maybe it would be useful for LGV'S to go faster but only if they are either taught or compelled not to use their size to intimidate other road users ie; tailgate within one car length @50mph. I realise that they have targets to meet and drivers hours to adhere to but that should not be an excuse for dangerous tactics.

think that a good thing and i think motorways and daulcarragway should be 7.5ton 65 mph class 2 60 mph class1 stay at 56 a is what think as a class 1 driver for 25 yrs as on the a42 cars can be stuck behide 2 lorrys overtaking for 3/4 miles becasce all hgv are limited to 56 mph thanks allan

I think that for single A roads that this is good; there have been lots of carriageway improvements (straightening, widening junctions etc) that mean the 40 limit is now out of date and 50 would be better. However, for B, C and unclassified roads the 40 limit should remain.

As a HGV driver I think the 40mph is ridiculous and very dangerous. Your always going to get the odd do-gooder who says otherwise but we're out on the road and see the problems and the big risks people take overtaking massive queues behind these lorries. Also have you tried driving for any length of time at 40mph? talk about sending you to sleep!! The sooner it's 50mph the better.

A 30+tonne lorry travelling at 50mph takes a lot longer to stop. Result more FATAL accidents. Not in favour

About time,HGVs should be able to travel faster on single carriage ways

I think that an incease of lorry speeds would be more of an advantage than not.