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FTA backs HGV speed limit increase

Heavy goods vehicle national speed limit on single carriageway roads to be increased to 50mph

THE Freight Transport Association (FTA) has voiced its support of today’s government announcement that the heavy goods vehicle (HGV) national speed limit on single-carriageway roads will increase from 40mph to 50mph.

The Government’s decision followed a public consultation to which the FTA had contributed and states that, in early 2015, the national speed limit for HGVs of more than 7.5 tonnes on single carriageways will increase.


The FTA said the decision supported an improvement in road safety by reducing the 20mph differential between HGVs and other road users, and would allow UK single-carriageway roads to be used more effectively.

Commenting on the announcement, Malcolm Bingham, the Association’s head of road network management policy, said: ‘The FTA strongly supports this decision as we believe there is evidence confirming that road safety will be improved if the differential between HGVs and other road users is reduced.

‘Many motorists do not understand that the limit for lorries is only 40mph and this can lead to frustration and, on occasion, risky overtaking.’

The current speed limit was introduced in the 1960s, since when lorry technology has advanced considerably. The change will modernize an antiquated restriction which is not matched in most other European countries.

Mr Bingham continued: ‘This decision will allow changes to enable our roads to be used safely, and will save time for hauliers resulting in an economic benefit which has been estimated as being worth £11 million a year across the freight and logistics industry.’

The change will be implemented via a change in the law to be put to parliament during the next few months. The existing 40mph limit will continue to apply until the change has been put into effect. The amended speed limit will cover single-carriageway roads outside built-up areas in England and Wales, unless specific lower local speed limits are in effect.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has said that the change of the national speed limit on single carriageways is planned to come into force early in 2015.


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