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Volume 498: debated on Wednesday 28 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect on the environment of the operation of lorries weighing over 44 tonnes; and if he will make a statement. (292665)

I have been asked to reply.

In order to be better informed about the likely consequences of allowing longer and/or heavier goods vehicles on the English road network, the Department for Transport commissioned a study which reported in 2008. The report of this study: "Longer and/or Longer and Heavier Goods Vehicles (LHVs) - A study of the likely effects if permitted in the UK" (reference: TRL Report PPR 285), concluded that allowing longer and/or heavier vehicles onto the network could lead to an increase in CO2 emissions. The report also concluded that there would be a limited impact on the structural performance of pavements and bridges but did not cover the specific issue of the likely effect on the annual cost of maintaining the road network.