Faster HGVs could cut dangerous overtakes

From today onwards lorries can legally travel at 50mph on roads like the A16.
From today onwards lorries can legally travel at 50mph on roads like the A16.
0
Have your say

A raised speed limit for lorries on roads like the A16 and A17 came into force today (Monday) with the hope it will reduce risky overtakes by frustrated car drivers.

HGVs were restricted to 40mph on roads with the national speed limit of 60mph – but now they can legally travel at 50mph.

The Government feels that this will boost the economy by around £11million and reduce the amount of injudicious overtakes that frustrated drivers make when behind a vehicle that is travelling at 40mph in a national speed limit.

John Siddle

Lorries will also be able to travel up to 60mph on dual carriageways instead of 50mph.

Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership spokesman John Siddle said: “The Government feels that this will boost the economy by around £11million and reduce the amount of injudicious overtakes that frustrated drivers make when behind a vehicle that is travelling at 40mph in a national speed limit.”

Mr Siddle pointed out that modern braking systems on HGVs can stop vehicles of that size far quicker than before, but he says at higher speeds “there is a risk that the driver’s reaction time will be shortened and that has to take place before the brakes are actually operated”.

Speed limiters fitted to HGVs are being adjusted to allow lorries to reach 60mph.

Mr Siddle says the new higher speeds will naturally increase HGV fuel consumption.

Transport minister Claire Perry said: “It is really important that speed limits for lorries reflect the needs of a modern transport network and improved vehicle technology.

“Britain has one of the best road safety records in the world and I am determined to ensure this continues.

This change is about ensuring rules for lorry drivers’ speed limits are in line with other larger vehicles on our roads, creating a fairer and more proportionate system.”