Higher HGV speed limit ‘will improve road safety’

A change to HGV speed limits will improve road safety for all road users, a leading freight trade body says.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has welcomed the increase in the HGV national speed limit on single carriageway roads from 40mph to 50mph, which took effect on 6 April.

The FTA said reducing the speed differential between HGVs and other road users would allow single carriageway roads in the UK to be used more effectively and safely.

Malcolm Bingham, the FTA’s head of road network management policy, said that the 20mph speed differential between cars and trucks contributed to hasty overtaking manoeuvres that could result in accidents and casualties. He added: “The FTA believes that it will benefit industry as it will allow operators to use the additional speed, where it is safe to do so, and gain running cost benefits.”

The previous speed limit was introduced in the 1960s. The 50mph limit will cover single carriageway roads outside built up areas in England and Wales, unless specific lower local speed limits are in effect.

Jeremy Sirrell, Palmers’ road traffic offence specialist, said: “The increased speed limit appears likely to make life easier for HGV drivers but they must still be aware of observing all speed limits, to avoid breaches that could affect their licence and their livelihood.

“Where haulage firms or individuals are facing road traffic offences, our road traffic offences team can provide specialist advice and representation, with the aim of defending and preserving an individual’s licence, wherever possible. For more information, please contact us.”