Freight industry welcomes government plans to lift speed limit for heavy lorries

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Plans to increase speeds for some lorries were announced today by the Government.

The current speed limit on single carriageways for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) over 7.5 tonnes is 40mph. Under the proposals, this could be increased to 45mph or 50mph, with any change likely to affect around 280,000 vehicles.

The limit for smaller HGVs – between 3.5 tonnes and 7.5 tonnes – is 50mph and this will remain unchanged.

The freight industry says a higher limit for the bigger lorries will help growth by improving journey times, cutting congestion and reducing costs to business and the cost of goods people buy. It could also reduce the number of collisions caused by other road users overtaking slower-moving lorries.

Consultation on the proposals will run until February 1.

Roads Minister Stephen Hammond said: “The Government is committed to doing everything it can to improve conditions for economic growth.” He added that a higher speed limit was likely to lead to more than £30m a year in benefits for businesses through quicker journeys and reduced congestion.

AA president Edmund King said: “Drivers will generally support this proposed change as a common sense move. Slower lorries can lead to tailbacks, dangerous over-taking and road rage.

“Freer-flowing traffic will benefit road safety by reducing dangerous overtaking and benefit the environment by reducing emissions.”