HGV speed limits set to change - is it a good thing?


Speed limits for HGVs on single carriageway roads is set to change, if plans by the government go ahead.

Raising the limit from 40mph to 50mph - closer to that of cars - is expected to ease congestion and improve the efficiency of businesses that rely on haulage. Not everyone is convinced, though.

Road safety charity Brake was first to raise an eyebrow - saying that it was "very concerned about [the] proposals".

"There is a clearly evidenced, direct link between traffic speed and the number of devastating crashes and casualties on our roads," warned Julie Townsend - the charity's deputy chief executive.

Next was British Cycling - the national governing body for bike-related sports - who criticised the government for simply not thinking about two-wheeled road users.

"If the Government is serious about putting cycling at the heart of transport policy it must look specifically at the consequences policy changes like this would have for cyclists," said Martin Gibbs, legal affairs director for the organisation.

"The impact assessment circulated with the consultation fails to even mention cycling."

However, with HGVs currently travelling at 20mph less than cars on single carriageways, many suggest a new limit would actually benefit safety.

"On many long-distance rural roads, platooning behind lorries who are sticking to the limit is often blamed for causing frustration and dangerous overtaking," the Institute of Advanced Motorists' Neil Grieg told BBC News.

"Ideally this change should be introduced in a series of trials and pilots first so that the real impact can be assessed before the change is made permanent."

The AA's Edmund King was similarly supportive.

"Drivers will generally support this proposed change as a common sense move."Slower lorries can lead to tailbacks, dangerous overtaking and road rage," he told the beeb.

"Freer-flowing traffic will benefit road safety by reducing dangerous overtaking and benefit the environment by reducing emissions."

What effect do you think upped speed limits for HGVs would have - would our roads become less, or perhaps more safe? Let us know in the comments below.