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Malcolm Group urges political commitment to longer semi-trailer trial

  • 25 March 2014
  • By Christopher Walton

The chief executive of the largest operator in Scotland has urged politicians of all hues to give hauliers stability and commit to completing the 10-year longer semi-trailer trial.

The trial was launched in January 2012, and while the Department for Transport (DfT) warned that it doesn’t provide any guarantee that the use of the longer semi-trailers will be permitted beyond the end of the trial period, the Labour Party has intimated that it would abandon it on safety grounds if it is elected in 2015.

Malcolm Group chief executive Andrew Malcolm told CM: “We are very proactive on the longer-length trailers. My hope is that when there is a change in government, someone doesn’t decide that the trial ends and that is the end of the story.

“Knowing how politicians work, they might say it wasn’t my baby. We are very much taking it to the marketplace.”

Changes to the trial that came into effect in September 2013 mean operators can now dictate whether they want to run 14.6m or 15.65m longer semi-trailers as part of the trial. Before the changes, just 550 trailers out of 1,800 allocations had been put on the road, about 100 of them 14.6m long. The DfT completed its full longer semi-trailer allocation last month.

Malcolm added: “We have followed the letter of the law when the first applications came out. I think we had 15. We have now been successful in applying and have another 130 coming in, and they are all committed to build this year.

“Longer-length trailers are a good concept. Too many applied for the licence and didn’t use them, so we lost some credibility on the project. We have to make more use of it.”

  •     See CM 3 April for a full profile of Malcolm Group.


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