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UK’s introduction of longer lorries to help save 70,000 tons of CO2
UK’s legislation change allowing longer lorries and longer semi-trailers on roads will save 70,000 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the air.
Longer lorries will be introduced to Great Britain’s (GB’s) roads to support the government’s priority to grow the economy, boost productivity, slash road emissions and support supply chains.
Legislation will be laid today to safely roll out the vehicles on roads from 31 May. The longer lorries will be able to transport fast-moving consumer goods and retail products, as well as waste packaging, parcels and pallets.
These new lorries will move the same volume of goods, but will use 8% fewer journeys than current trailers. This will generate an expected £1.4 billion in economic benefits and take one standard-size trailer off the road for every 12 trips.
As part of efforts to grow the economy and cut emissions, government is changing regulations to allow longer trailers on GB roads, which it estimates will save 70,000 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.
These longer trailers, known as longer semi-trailers (LST) measure up to 2.05 meters longer than a standard semi-trailer and can be towed by a lorry.
The move follows an 11-year trial to ensure LSTs are used safely on roads, and operators will be encouraged to put extra safety checks and training in place. The trial demonstrated that LSTs were involved in around 61% fewer personal injury collisions than conventional lorries.
Roads Minister Richard Holden said “Everyone around the country depends on our haulage sector for their everyday needs – from loo rolls to sausage rolls – and a strong, resilient supply chain is key to the government’s priority to grow the economy.”
These new longer lorries will make a big difference for British businesses like Greggs, who will see 15% more baked goods delivered, from tasty pastries to the nation’s much-loved sausage rolls.
“It’s fantastic to see this change for our supply chain come into law, resulting in a near £1.4 billion boost to the haulage industry and driving economic growth. Let the good times roll as we reduce congestion, lower emissions and enhance the safety of British roads,” he said.
Vehicles which use LSTs will be subject to the same 44 ton weight limit as those using standard trailers. These new vehicles are also expected to cause less wear on the roads than conventional lorries due to the type of steering axle used.
Operators will be legally required to ensure appropriate route plans and risk assessments are made to take the unique specifications of LSTs into account.
In addition to these new legal requirements, operators will also be expected to put in place extra safety checks including driver training and scheduling, record keeping, training for transport managers and key staff, and loading of LSTs.
It is expected that LSTs will create almost £1.4 billion in net economic benefits by ensuring more goods are carried on fewer vehicles, supporting productivity and boosting the economy.