In a move which the government hopes will provide a boost of ÃÂ£11m to the haulage industry, the speed limit for HGV vehicles weighing more than 7.5 tonnes has been increased to 50mph.
The current speed limit of 40mph has been in place since the 1960s, and Transport Minister Claire Perry believes that this puts HGVs at odds with other large vehicles on the road. However, don'ÃÂt go rushing to alter your fleet tracking systems
just yet; the changes are not set to be introduced in England and Wales until early 2015.
Perry said: We are doing all we can to get Britain moving and boost growth. This change will do exactly that and save our haulage industry ÃÂ£11 million a year.
Britain has one of the world'ÃÂs best road safety records and yet speed limits for lorries have been stuck in the 1960s. This change will remove a 20 mph 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.
Geoff Dunning, from the Road Haulage Association, said: This evidence-based decision by ministers, to increase the limit to 50 mph, 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 The current limit is long out of date and the frustration it generates causes unnecessary road safety risks. However, some are not so keen on the idea, citing safety concerns. Speaking to the BBC
, Green Party transport spokeswoman Caroline Russell said: "The government say they want to reduce the speed differential between lorries and cars to improve safety, but their move to raise the speed limit for lorries ignores basic physics. Lorries are heavy and by increasing the speed at which they travel, the government is greatly increasing the risk and severity of crashes. By raising the limit for lorries they are also increasing the speed differential between lorries and vulnerable road users: people walking and riding on bikes or on horses. This is thoughtless and downright lethal for anyone getting about on rural roads under their own steam."
So, as a haulier or HGV operator, how do you feel about the speed limit increase? Do you think it will be a help or a hindrance?