Disappointment at Government considering longer HGVs
Freight on Rail is disappointed that the Government is evaluating longer HGV trailers, with up to a 2.05 metre (7 feet) increase being considered, as any relative shift in favour of road transport runs contrary to development of the low carbon economy. While road and rail complement each other, larger trunk movements of freight can be more sustainably and more safely carried by rail than in larger lorries.
Using the same old arguments again to justify increases in lengths
In fact, previous increases in lorry dimensions have led to more lorries driving around less full, which is the reverse of what was claimed would happen by the proponents of longer HGVs, who are using the same flawed arguments again.
Lack of compliance by HGVs with existing road regulations
Over 83 per cent of HGVs exceeded the 50 mph speed limit on dual carriageway non-built-up roads and 75 per cent exceeded the 40 mph limit on single carriageway non-built-up roads. Source DfT figures June 2010
Improve efficiency of existing sized HGVs instead of increasing lorry lengths
Over one in four HGVs driving around empty
Empty lorries reached 29% in 2008 and was 28% in 2009.
The safety case
Existing HGVs are over 3 times more likely to be involved in fatal accidents than cars on major roads due to a combination of size, lack of proper enforcement of drivers hours, vehicle overloading and differing foreign operating standards source
Source: Road Statistics 2008, Tables 3.2 and 3.6, Road Freight Statistics 2008 Section 5, both UK Department for Transport)
Industry already asking for more weight as well as extra length
The current proposal is for length now but already the Freight Transport Association (FTA) is asking for a weight increase of 46 tonnes. Source FTA Freight Magazine October
What happens is each time lorry weights and lengths increased private operators buy the biggest lorry so that they can do all jobs big and small
Longer trucks will undermine rail and water freight which are more sustainable
Rail freight produces 70% less Carbon dioxide emissions than the equivalent road journey
An aggregates train can remove up to 160 HGVs from our roads and a consumer freight train can remove 50 HGVs – Network Rail 2010