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News & Features

HGVs could get Longer

Posted in General News on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

In another effort to reduce the air pollution which is caused by vehicle traffic, the government is in the process of trialling a fleet of just under 1,800 extended Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) on our roads. Including the length of their trailers, these new HGVs measure 15.65 metres. This means that they are two metres longer than the vehicles that are currently permitted for haulage and the extra length will allow them to either transport two more rows of pallets or 3 extra goods cages in comparison to the current HGVs.

The trial of these extended HGVs was launched by the Department for Transport (DfT) five years ago and so far it has been discovered that the longer lorries have reduced the amount of journeys that need to be taken, cut down on pollution and lowered the number of road traffic accidents. The report found that the longer HGVs have resulted in up to 150,000 fewer journeys and looking at the estimated emissions figures the government hopes that the introduction of these lorries will prevent 3,000 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide being released into the air. With regards to these HGVs being involved in fewer accidents compared to the standard HGVs, it was admitted that there is no reason why these lorries should be safer and that the reduction in accidents could be down to the fact that the drivers of these longer lorries have to undergo further training to obtain a specialist licence before they were allowed to drive them. Regardless of the evidence submitted by the DfT, this idea has its opposition. Philippa Edmunds, Manager of the Freight on Rail Campaign Group, for example, said: “Despite what the Department for Transport claims, longer semi-trailers are not the answer to reducing collisions, congestion or pollution and are actually more dangerous than standard HGVs on urban and town centre roads, because of their 7ft tail swing and extended blind spot.”

In January 2017 the government extended the length of the trial by another five years which means that it will not be completed until 2027. The DfT has said that by mid-2018 there will be 2,800 examples of these longer HGVs on Britain’s roads.

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Bob Preston's Gravatar
Bob Preston

Tuesday, October, 3rd, 2017

These extra long vehicles sound a brilliant idea, on motorways only. Artics are already too big around town and on the Country lanes of the UK. How many extra wheels are going to be churning up the Tarmac that the Government can't or won't repair because of cost.

Frank Emery's Gravatar
Frank Emery

Wednesday, October, 4th, 2017

There will be no extra wheels or axles on these vehicles as tri axle units and trailers can run at 50 tonnes