Longer lorries now allowed on roads in UK
New legislation permitting longer lorries on Britain’s roads has now come into force in a move designed to enable more goods to be transported on fewer journey.
Under the new rules, lorries can extend up to 61ft (18.55 metres), outpacing the standard size by 6ft 9in (2.05 metres).
This introduction of these larger semi-trailers (LSTs) forms part of broader UK government measures devised to support the haulage industry and stimulate economic growth.
Department of Transport (DoF) expects the move to allow LSTs on roads will to inject £1.4 billion into the UK economy.
Despite some safety concerns from pedestrians and cyclists and the potential for damage to roadside infrastructure, the government insists this move will reduce carbon emissions significantly.
The anticipated 70,000-tonne reduction comes at a critical time as the UK strives towards its net-zero targets.
The decision follows an 11-year trial period, during which the DoF claims a 61% reduction in personal injury collisions involving LSTs compared to standard lorries.
Haulage operators are being encouraged to implement additional safety checks and training to ensure the safe use of these larger vehicles, while complying with a 44-tonne weight limit, identical to standard trailers.
Over 300 UK companies, including household names such as Greggs, Morrisons, Stobart, Royal Mail, and Argos, have already participated in the trial. Gavin Kirk, Supply Chain Director at Greggs, reported a 20% conversion of their trailer fleet and an annual carbon saving of 410 tonnes.
“This introduction will make a big difference for British businesses like Greggs,” said Roads Minister Richard Holden. “It’s fantastic to see this change come into law, resulting in a near £1.4 billion boost to the haulage industry and driving economic growth.”
However, concerns remain. Cycling UK campaigns manager Keir Gallagher said, “It’s alarming that longer and more hazardous lorries could now be allowed to share the road with people cycling and walking. Further testing in real-life scenarios should have been done to assess and address the risks.”
The introduction of LSTs comes alongside a comprehensive plan to tackle HGV driver shortages and boost recruitment and retention, which includes £52.5 million for improved roadside facilities and the availability of 11,000 HGV driver training places.
Chris Yarsley, Senior Policy Manager at Logistics UK, views this as an opportunity for the industry, stating, “The introduction of LSTs will increase the scope and scale Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com