Can a new speed limit for HGVs save the industry up to £11 million per year?

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The government brings welcome news to hauliers announcing that the UK’s national speed limit for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) on single carriageways will be increased from 40 mph to 50 mph. Coming into effect in 2015, the change will place England and Wales on a par with other road safety leaders in Europe like Denmark and Norway.

A consultation has also been opened on plans to increase the speed limits for HGVs on dual carriageways as well – from 50 mph to 60 mph. The consultation will close on 5 September 2014.

Transport Minister Claire Perry believes the new, increased speed limit on single carriageways will help boost growth, saving the haulage industry up to £11 million per year.

Why now?

The current speed limit of 40 mph for HGVs over 7.5 tonnes dates back to the 1960s and is no longer relevant to the vehicle technology of today, Perry explained. With the increase in speeds, ministers hope to minimise congestion and cut down on dangerous overtaking.

Geoff Dunning from the Road Haulage Association, comments that road haulage operators will be delighted at the government’s decision to raise the limit to 50 mph, as the current limit of 40 mph only causes frustration on the road, leading to road safety risks.

Besides raising the speed limit, the government is also taking other measures to stimulate the haulage industry. The HGV road user levy is one such initiative. It requires foreign hauliers operating in UK territory to contribute financially to the maintenance of UK roads.

For advice on keeping your drivers safe please see our article: Top tips for managing your fleet of vans. 

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