GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES FUTURE OF HAULAGE CONSULTATION
The government has launched a consultation on the use of longer haulage trailers and slightly heavier trucks on UK roads, in an effort to help make the haulage industry more ecologically friendly, more sustainable and more efficient.
The consultation proposals, as well as an upcoming Transport Decarbonisation Plan, are part of plans for the United Kingdom to reach carbon neutrality by the year 2050.
Two major proposals are part of the consultation, one which would allow longer semi-trailers (LSTs) onto British roads. The longer haulage equipment would allow for three extra rows of supermarket goods cages compared to current conventional heavy goods vehicles (HGV) trailers.
The other proposal aims to increase the maximum weight of HGVs from 44 tonnes (unfortunately misspelt in the government’s press release as “4 tonnes”) to 48 tonnes.
Both of these proposals could see a significant reduction in the number of haulage routes taken and save lorry drives millions of miles of travel.
With LSTs, it would reduce the number of lorries required on the road, and heavier HGVs would allow for more haulage to use a mix of road and rail networks, rather than road-only journeys.
The responses to the consultation could affect a proposed trial set to take place with 48-tonne HGVs on roads that have been cleared to carry vehicles of that weight.
It will see how much it encourages goods to be transported by rail as well as if there were any unforeseen benefits or hazards with wider adoption of heavier goods vehicles.