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Change to HGV speed limit will improve road safety, says FTA

Freight Transport Association welcomes increase in HGV speed limit on single-carriageway roads

THE Freight Transport Association (FTA) has voiced its support for the increase in the HGV national speed limit on single-carriageway roads which came into effect earlier this week (Monday 6 April), claiming it will improve road safety for all road users.

The Department for Transport (DfT) revealed in July 2014 that the change to the national speed limit from 40 miles/h to 50 miles/h for HGVs on single carriageways in England and Wales would come into force this spring.


The DfT’s decision to change the speed limit was supported by the FTA, which said it would allow single-carriageway roads in the UK to be used more effectively and would mean an improvement in road safety as the differential between HGVs and other road users would be reduced.

Commenting on the introduction of the change, Malcolm Bingham, the FTA’s head of road network management policy, said it was a move to improve safety for all on single-carriageway roads where the previous 20 miles/h speed differential between cars and trucks was often the cause of hasty overtaking manoeuvres that sometimes resulted in casualties.

The FTA also believes the change will benefit industry as it will allow operators to use the additional speed, where it is safe to do so, and gain running-cost benefits.

The 40 miles/h speed limit was introduced in the 1960s, since when lorry technology has advanced considerably. The FTA says the change to 50 miles/h has modernized an antiquated restriction which was not matched in most other European countries.

The amended speed limit covers single-carriageway roads outside built-up areas in England and Wales, unless specific lower local speed limits are in effect.


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