Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Longer Trailers a Success According to UK Freight Group

Government Trial Figures Analysed
Shipping News Feature
UK – The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has thrown its weight behind the campaign to allow longer vehicles on British roads. The organisation says the positive results from a new report on the government trial of Longer Semi-Trailers (LSTs), a programme originally scheduled to last 10 years, ending in 2022, but was the extended a further lustrum to finish in 2027, means that the vehicles should be introduced as soon as possible.

According to the 2017 DfT Annual Report for the ongoing LST trial, up to 32.9 million vehicle kilometres and 28,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions have been saved by just 0.5% of Britain's HGVs using this extra two metres in length. Accident rates have also reduced: on a per-kilometre basis, compared with the average for all GB articulated HGVs, the LSTs have been involved in 90% fewer personal injury collisions while operating on urban roads and 72% fewer when on minor roads.

The trial allows articulated goods vehicles from selected road haulage operators to use longer than usual trailers and now reports on the findings of 2,800 vehicles. As Christopher Snelling, FTA's Head of UK Policy explains, he believes the evidence is clear that introducing the legislation required would have benefits for both HGV operators and other road users, saying:

"The FTA has supported the LST trial from the start, because of the vehicles' ability to provide improvements in road miles and emissions for freight vehicles. We are delighted to see that these claims have been borne out by this report, along with a lower accident rate than conventional vehicles.

”With so many positive benefits to both commercial and other road users, it is now time for the government to conclude its trial early and approve an earlier-than-scheduled use of the trailers to enable operators to make investment commitments for the second generation of these vehicles. The results from the LST trial show that longer vehicles have a significant, positive benefit for the environment and other road users.

”At a time when the freight industry is looking to reduce its environmental impact while continuing to deliver efficiencies to customers in the UK and further afield, LSTs are a solution which can help achieve both targets. The industry deserves to have certainty that we have permanent access to these vehicles and we will be urging the government to move up the approval process for them.

”Trading conditions are tough for the logistics industry at the moment, the introduction of LSTs would provide tangible benefits for both operators and other road users."