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In an effort to reduce congestion, improve road safety, and boost the haulage sector, the government has announced plans to increase HGV speeds across the nation by 2015. Under Secretary of State for Transport Claire Perry made the announcement, saying that the government is doing “all we can to get Britain moving and boost growth.”

The new rules still need to go through the parliamentary procedure before becoming official. Perry expects full implementation sometime next year. When the changes are approved, HGVs travelling on single carriageways will see their speed boosted from 40 to 50 mph. In addition, the government will undertake a six-week study to determine the feasibility of increasing the speed limit on dual carriageways from 50 to 60 mph.

According to Perry, England already has the best road safety record in Europe. Implementation of the higher speed limits will bring England and Wales in line with other countries boasting similar safety records, including Norway and Denmark. The current speed limits have been in place since the 1960s and need to be updated, Perry said.

The haulage industry is obviously delighted to hear the news. Industry representatives have long said that the lower speed limits for HGVs have compounded traffic congestion and lead to unnecessary accidents due to dangerous overtaking. It is the same position it maintained last year when Scotland’s government began looking at changes along the A9. It is an argument the Department for Transport now seemingly agrees with.

Economic Impact

From an economic standpoint, the impact would be impressive. Perry estimates that raising the speed limits will save haulage operators nearly £11 million per year by way of fuel savings and reduced delivery times. Car drivers will also benefit through less congestion on busy roads frequented by HGVs.

This seems like a very good decision across the board. We hope the six-week study into dual carriageways produces a similar change of heart among regulators. Increasing the speed limits on such roads will mean HGVs will be able to travel at the same speed as caravans and coaches, reducing congestion and lowering the risk of accidents.

The HGV Training Centre has no official position on whether or not the speed limits need to be raised. However, we are in favour of anything that makes the roads safer while also allowing the haulage and transport industries to continue doing what they do best. If it’s determined that raising the speed limit will accomplish those things, then we believe doing so is a good thing.

Our part is to continue training drivers to be the best HGV operators they can be. The HGV Training centre is a leading provider of commercial driver training, offering classes in more than 45 facilities around the UK. Our focused and concentrated approach has successfully prepared our students to pass their tests the first time, before going on to successful careers as commercial drivers. We invite you to contact us for more details about becoming an HGV driver.

Sources:

Handy Shipping Guide – http://www.handyshippingguide.com/shipping-news/road-haulage-operators-welcome-change-in-speed-limits-to-assist-freight-interests_5692

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