Longer Lorries now Allowed on UK Roads
Legislation passed by the UK Government which came into force on 31st May 2023 sees the introduction to Great Britain’s roads of longer semi-trailer (LST) combinations of up to 18.55 metres, a full 2.05 metres longer than previously allowed.
The government, and to some extent the logistics industry are hailing this as a huge boost to the UK economy with a predicted £1.4 billion of economic benefits. They state, “These new lorries will move the same value of goods, but will use 8% fewer journeys than current ‘standard’ trailers and take one standard size trailer off the road for every 12 trips made”. They are also keen to promote the environmental benefits of the new sized trailers, with over 70,000.00 tonnes of carbon dioxide being saved from release into the atmosphere through their use. Another benefit cited is that they are expected to cause less wear on the roads than conventional lorries due to the type of steering axles used on the trailers. The vehicles which use LSTs will be subject to the same 44 tonne weight limit as those using standard trailers, so their use is primarily beneficial for those companies transporting bulky but “light” goods that would require more than one standard trailer.
The introduction of the trailers across the board forms part of the government’s “comprehensive 33 actions” to address the various ills affecting the haulage and logistics industry – an industry that is of crucial importance to the UK economy. Some of the other “actions” put in place to support the industry include:
- £52.5 million given to improve roadside facilities for lorry drivers
- Making 11,000 HGV driver training places available through ‘skills bootcamps’
- Boosting the number of HGV driver tests available, and
- The launch of the “Future of Freight” plan to encourage millions of people to kickstart an “exciting career in logistics”.
If you would like to read more about the Long Semi-Trailer trial then you can click here.