Some lorries could be allowed to use longer trailers after independent research showed that this could cut carbon without compromising safety. The research is being published today by Roads Minister Mike Penning alongside a consultation seeking views on the proposed changes.
Today’s consultation proposes allowing a two metre increase in the total length of articulated lorries operating within the existing weight limit of 44 tonnes. This would take the maximum permitted length of an articulated lorry to 18.75 metres but would not allow any increase in overall weight. The Department for Transport estimates that this move could increase capacity for hauliers transporting lightweight goods by up to 13 per cent and cut carbon emissions by around one hundred thousand tonnes each year.
Mike Penning said:
“The road haulage industry is vital to the economy, making goods and services accessible across the country. “These proposals would allow haulage firms to use one larger truck where previously they may have needed to send two vehicles. This will help to make our haulage industry cleaner and greener as well as allowing businesses greater flexibility without compromising safety.
The proposed changes would make the total permitted length for articulated lorries 18.75 metres; the maximum length for lorries using a truck and drawbar trailer is 18.75 metres. The government has ruled out any further increase in length.
As there is no proposed increase in weight there is not expected to be any additional pressure on road surfaces caused by the proposed increase in length.