HGVs face fast lane ban

The government is considering changing the law to prohibit all HGVs over 3.5 tonnes from using the fast lanes of motorways, and restricting their speed to 60mph.

The Department of Transport claims that the traffic laws must be simplified as there is a disparity between new HGVs that are limited to 56mph electronically, and older vehicles which are still capable of 70mph.

Under current legislation, unrestricted HGVs between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes are permitted to use the outside lane while newer, speed limited vehicles are not. The Department of Transport's proposals would end that practice, and set a blanket speed limit of 60mph for all HGVs over 3.5 tonnes.The proposals would also set a 65mph speed limit for all buses, minibuses and coaches with more than eight passenger seats.

Goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes are already subject to a 60mph limit on motorways, and may not use the outside lane.

Road Safety Minister, Paul Clark said: ""We want to provide clarity for everybody - drivers, operators, other motorists and the police - as well as making sure that there is a level playing field for those operating in the bus, coach and road haulage industry.

"These proposals simplify motorway speed limits for buses, coaches and lorries so that everyone has to abide by the same rules regardless of the age of their vehicle."

The government has proposed banning all HGVs from the right-hand lane of motorways before, citing the impact on traffic congestion rather than variations in the road laws.

Any new legislation would only apply to motorways of three or more lanes, and would affect all HGVs between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes, including buses, minibuses and coaches capable of carrying more than eight people.

The consultation process will conclude on April 27th.

To read the Department of Transport's press release click here
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