Ministers are set to announce today an end to outdated speed restrictions for HGVs on rural roads. This will see speed limits for lorries increased from 40mph to 50mph on single carriageway roads, bringing Britain in line with other European countries.
The government is also expected to consider raising speed limits for lorries on dual carriageways from 50mph to 60mph. Ministers hope that these moves will reduce the number of tailbacks on country roads and cut the amount of crashes caused by drivers resorting to dangerous overtaking manouevres to get past slow moving HGVs.
Officials expect this change to save haulage companies around £11m per year and to reduce congestion levels on busier rural roads which are used by many lorries.
New transport minister Claire Perry said: “We’re are doing all we can to get Britain moving and boost growth. Britain has one of the world’s best road safety records and yet speed limits for lorries have been stuck in the 1960s,” reports the Telegraph.
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.”
President of the AA Edmund King said: "We know from our members that quite often trucks doing 40mph on rural roads not only causes congestion but actually causes added danger. If the truck is doing 50mph, all the evidence suggests that the driver will be quite content to stick behind it rather than try to overtake.”
According to Jack Semple from the Road Haulage Association: “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 The current limit is long out-of-date and the frustration it generates causes unnecessary road safety risks.”
Transport Secretary Perry added: "Current speed limits for HGVs were introduced around 50 years ago and need to be updated given improved vehicle technology.”