Driving in the UK has been somewhat under the ‘spotlight’ recently. There are many reasons for this, mainly due to the changes to CPC training, driverless cars and the abolishment of the tax disk. However, one up and coming change is set to have a big effect on not only professional drivers but also the ‘everyday’ driver.

The British Government has proposed a speed limit change for heavy good vehicles (HGV’s) over 7.5 tonnes on single track roads from 40 mph to 50 mph, with changes coming in to effect as early as January 2015. The decision was made after Claire Perry, Transport Minister, decided it was time to tackle congestion in the UK and keep the country moving whilst also reducing the risk of dangerous driving.

Recent statistics from the Department for Transport (DfT) highlighted motorists are 11 times more likely to have an accident on a rural road than on a motorway, even though country roads have significantly lower speed limits.

The government also plans to raise the speed limit for HGV’s on dual carriageways from 50 mph to 60 mph, therefore matching the legal limits for vans and buses.

The Road Haulage Association stated the decision by ministers was evidence based and will be strongly welcomed by hauliers and their drivers as the current speed limit is long out of date, can cause driver frustration and unnecessary road safety risks. But what are the other benefits?

As well as reducing driver frustration and iritic overtaking, the new changes are also set to benefit the haulage industry by £11 million of savings per year as well as other businesses receiving goods quicker.

Not only has the government looked into the speed limits but they are also investing £3.3 billion in major road schemes which will provide over 500 miles of additional lane capacity to the strategic road network. A second piece of work will see £10.7 billion allocated to add at least 400 miles of increased capacity on the busiest motorways.

The haulage industry is always adapting to cope with growing or new demands and these changes need to be reflected on the UK’s roads. The Government’s changes demonstrate this and although the changes may not be welcomed by everyone, they are all heading in the right direction.


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