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A new ban on overtaking on a section of the M11 motorway in Essex will initially be implemented as a matter of LGV driver courtesy rather than enforceable law. Highways England has not yet announced a timetable for implementation of the ban, but they say it may have to wait until ‘funding and statutory issues are overcome’.

The ban will target lorries that attempt to overtake other vehicles going just under the posted speed limit on a very hilly section of the motorway between junctions 8 and 9. Due to the time it takes for lorries to get up to speed on the hills, such manoeuvres tend to cause significant tailbacks that are otherwise avoidable.

A similar ban enacted on the A34 in Berkshire does not seem to be helping matters much. According to a report from Commercial Motor, the ban is not heavily enforced by police in the area. Like the ban targeting the M11 in Essex, the A34 ban is expected to be primarily self-enforced by LGV drivers. Police will enforce the ban while in the area, but it is highly unlikely they will go out of their way to increase patrols or to aggressively pursue violators.

Worth the Time and Effort?

Without trying to stir up trouble, we have to ask whether these two overtaking bans are really worth the time and effort if they are to be self-enforced. If, as Highways England explains, the bans are meant to be more reminders than anything else, wouldn’t a concerted effort to educate drivers about overtaking be more effective? Perhaps.

Enacting a ban that will not be heavily enforced seems to be a waste of time, effort, and resources that could be funnelled elsewhere. Of course, we do hope drivers travelling through hilly areas would use common sense and avoid overtaking when such manoeuvres can cause significant tailbacks. Doing so only makes good sense.

The challenge faced by Highways England is how to get the point across without having to create a new law that would require further enforcement. Resources for enforcing already existing laws are stretched thin as it is, so adding another ban to the books does not seem practical.

Overtaking bans notwithstanding, LGV drivers should be cognisant of others on the roads at all times. The amount of time saved by overtaking a vehicle travelling just slightly slower in a hilly region doesn’t amount to much when one considers how much congestion just one such manoeuvre can cause. It is far better to take the extra 10 or 15 seconds to get through the area so that other traffic is not impeded by the LGV.

The HGV Training Centre is the leading provider of LGV driver training in the UK. We operate dozens of facilities to make training as easy and convenient as possible. For more information about our classes, schedules and pricing, do not hesitate to contact our offices through this website or by way of our freephone number.


  1. Commercial Motor – https://www.commercialmotor.com/news/overtaking-ban-be-self-enforced


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