It’s been 4 years since the speed limit was raised for trucks in England and Wales. The British government has recently published another report analysing the effects of this change. It appears that higher permitted speeds have had a positive impact on road safety and have benefited many transport companies.
In 2015 England and Wales have decided to increase the speed limit for trucks with GVW above 7.5 t:
– from 40 to 50 miles per hour (i.e. to about 80 km/h) on single carriageway roads,
– from 50 to 60 miles per hour (i.e. to approximately 96 km/h) on dual carriageway non-highway roads.
The UK Ministry of Transport is monitoring and analysing the changes related to the increase of the speed limit. Although according to a report published this year there are ‘no statistically significant’ changes in the number of truck accidents on single or dual carriageway roads, the document shows a clear decrease in the number of accidents on all roads.
The Ministry welcomed the fact that the average speed of trucks increased slightly as a result of the increase in the limit. On the other hand, the number of truck drivers exceeding the speed limit fell by 70%.
According to the report, the average speed of trucks on single carriageway roads increased by 1.5 miles per hour (2.4 km/h), which in the opinion of the ministry is beneficial for carriers. The Ministry of Transport estimated that an increase of just one mile per hour would save 650,000 working hours for drivers and would save operators £10 million per year.
Michael Ellis, Minister of Transport, said that the potential improvement in safety and an increase in average speed is good news for the economy.
“I am pleased to see an improvement in safety which at the same time boosts the UK’s potential,” said the minister on the report.
“Increasing the speed limit for trucks has helped companies save time and money by allowing them to invest in a business and buy newer and greener vehicles. This move has also potentially improved road safety, as it seems to have reduced the risk some drivers take when overtaking slow-moving vehicles,” added Ellis.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons