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Heavy Goods Vehicles

Volume 552: debated on Friday 9 November 2012

I am today announcing the publication of a consultation document which aims to examine whether the speed limit for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) over 7.5 tonnes on single carriageways, is set at the right level.

This follows a commitment published in “The Logistics Growth Review - Connecting People with Goods” document in November 2011.

The current speed limit on single carriageways for HGVs over 7.5 tonnes is 40 mph. The speed limit for smaller HGVs (those between 3.5 tonnes and 7.5 tonnes) is 50 mph.

Stakeholders have told us that the 40 mph speed limit causes unnecessary costs to vehicle operators, congestion, avoidable overtaking collisions and creates an uneven playing field for businesses.

The freight and logistics sector is an essential part of the economy, vital to businesses of all sizes and sectors. Raising HGV speed limits on single-carriageway roads could lead to quicker journeys and lower costs for the sector, aiding economic growth as well as reducing frustration for the many drivers who find themselves stuck behind slower-moving lorries on busy roads unable to overtake. However, there are other consequences of greater speed—both in terms of the environmental impacts and the potential effects on road safety.

We are inviting responses from the trade associations, haulage companies. Government enforcement bodies or police forces and organisations, road safety groups, local authorities and road users.

The consultation will run until 1 February.