Friday, October 10, 2014

Freight Association Backs Speed Limit Increase for Road Haulage Trucks

Additional 10 mph for HGV's Welcomed
Shipping News Feature

UK –The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has given its support to the HGV speed limit trial which commences on the A9 in Scotland on October 28. The pilot project was announced last year and will see the speed limit on the single carriageway sections between Perth and Inverness increased from 40 to 50mph for heavy goods vehicles exceeding 7.5 tonnes. The trial, which will last 36 months and is to be introduced at the same time as a new average speed camera system, is aimed at improving the operational performance of the route. Malcolm Bingham, FTA’s Head of Road Network Management Policy, said:

“FTA is in full support of the 50mph speed limit trial for HGVs on the A9 and we look forward to its introduction on 28 October. We welcome the opportunity for such a trial as we believe the current differential in speed limits between HGVs and other vehicles increases the road safety risk. This trial will provide some much needed evidence to help determine if there are any advantages, on safety grounds, in setting the speed limit of an HGV to 50mph."

The A9 remains one of Scotland's most important links. The Scottish Government is committed to dualling the route between Perth and Inverness by 2025 and the pilot is part of wider engineering, enforcement and education measures being delivered in advance of the dualling programme.

As part of the pilot, the Scottish Government will be working with the haulage industry to educate and improve driver behaviour around issues such as tail gaiting, ‘elephant racing’* and overtaking to improve the operation of the route. This is something the Department for Transport will also need to look into after Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Claire Perry, announced separate plans of a similar nature to increase the speed limit of HGV's on single carriageway roads in England and Wales, currently planned to take effect in early 2015.

* Elephant racing is that ridiculous scenario when one heavy vehicle crawls past another, familiar to all drivers of British roads.