Possible Speed Limits Changes for HGVs over 7.5 Tonnes

The Department for Transport has just opened a consultation on the speed limits for HGVs over 7.5 tonnes on single carriageway roads.  The current limit for HGVs over 7.5T is 40mph whilst those for smaller HGVs (between 3.5T and 7.5T) are 50mph.
Industry argues that the reduced speed causes unnecessary congestion and costs and can lead to risky overtaking manoeuvres.  Safety groups respond by saying that any increase in vehicle speeds must increase the risk of collisions, injuries and fatalities.
The Department for Transport has said that it ‘has not been possible to assess the effects of road safety if vehicle speed limits for HGVs over 7.5T are increased on single carriageway roads’.  The Department concedes that there may be more serious collisions but that the numbers of collisions may be fewer in number.  The Department has requested further information on the effects of a speed increase to enable them to assess the impact on road safety better.
In terms of the effects on road maintenance, the Department anticipates that these would be negligible as the speed increase would only affect 30% of HGVs over 7.5T as they remainder already travel over 40mph.

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