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UK Survey Shows Support For Longer Goods Vehicles

The Department for Transport (DfT) has said that longer goods vehicles could become a permanent fixture on UK roads from 2022, following a survey.

A UK.GOV press release says that the news follows DfT publishing its response to the consultation of longer semi-trailers (LSTs), for which 57 per cent of respondents were in favour, and follows a nine-year trial of LSTs, which can be up to 15.65 metres in length.

LSTs are estimated to remove up to one in eight freight journeys by carrying the same amount of cargo in fewer lorries, which would all support the government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan by reducing mileage, congestion, and carbon emissions.

Following the trial and consultation, the Department for Transport will now consider the use of LSTs on Britain’s roads outside trial conditions and the vehicles could be rolled out at some point in 2022.

The non-year trial showed that there was a reduction in the number of lorries, an average 8 per cent reduction in miles covered by freight, and a fall of 6.2 per cent in pollutant emissions. While the trial showed the use of LSTs caused fewer collisions, additional mitigations are under review to ensure hauliers and road users are kept safer.

The government is also to launch a separate trial on the use of heavier than usual 48-tonne vehicles, also following a positive response from a consolation on their introduction.

The maximum weight of a lorry (44 tonnes) makes it difficult to carry heavier materials to rail depots, meaning goods are dispersed between more lorries to be taken to their end destination by road. Taking more goods in heavier trucks to rail depots to be transported by train will help reduce congestion across and reduce emissions.

The trial would ensure these heavier lorries are only used on specific routes and would limit their use to a maximum journey length.

 

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