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Single carriageway speed limit to increase from 40mph to 50mph

  • 24 July 2014
  • By Will Shiers

The speed limit for trucks on single carriageways is increasing from 40mph to 50mph across England and Wales.

The announcement, which will be made later today by transport minister Claire Perry at WH Barley Transport and Storage’s Milton Keynes HQ, is described as “part of a package of measures to cut congestion, reduce dangerous overtaking and help get the country moving.” The government estimates that it will save the haulage industry £11m a year.

At the same time Perry also announced the launch of a six-week consultation on plans to increase the speed limits for HGVs on dual carriageways from 50mph to 60mph. Depending on the consultation responses, this increase would come into force in early 2015, at the same time as the revised single carriageway limit.

Perry said: “Britain has one of the world’s best road safety records and yet speed limits for lorries have been stuck in the 1960s. This change will remove a 20mph 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. Current speed limits for HGVs were introduced around 50 years ago and need to be updated given improved vehicle technology.”

She stressed that the Department for Transport will be urging English councils to use local powers issued last year to restrict traffic to 30mph, 40mph or 50mph where necessary, taking pedestrian and cyclist use, road location and layout into account.

The Road Haulage Association’s chief executive Geoff Dunning said: “This evidence-based decision by Ministers, to increase the limit to 50mph will be strongly welcomed by hauliers and their drivers. The current limit is long out-of-date and the frustration it generates causes unnecessary road safety risks.”

Malcolm Bingham, the Freight Transport Association’s head of road network management policy said: “The FTA strongly supports this decision as we believe there is evidence confirming that road safety will be improved if the differential between HGVs and other road users is reduced.  Many motorists do not understand that the limit for lorries is only 40mph and this can lead to frustration and on occasion risky overtaking.” 

Typical of the operators affected is AE Gough and Sons, whose fleet of 17 bulk tippers is based at Llandrindod Wells, over 40 miles away from the nearest dual carriageway. Director Simon Gough said: “It will be a massive improvement for our efficiency. Today’s trucks don’t even get into top gear at 40mph.”

We want to hear your views: Tweet us @Comm_Motor and @WillShiers or email will.shiers@roadtransport.com

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Article source: http://www.commercialmotor.com:80/latest-news/single-carriageway-speed-limit-to-increase-from-40mph-to-50mph