Text Size

Current Size: 100%

Increase in HGV speed limits will put lives at risk, say Campaigners

6 April 2015

Campaign for Better Transport has criticised today's increase in speed limits for heavy lorries, and warned that this is likely to lead to increased deaths and injuries.

Philippa Edmunds, Campaign for Better Transport, said: 

“The Government is justifying increasing the HGV speed limit on the basis that it is commonly broken, and ignoring its own figures which show the scale of danger that HGVs pose. The Government's own latest statistics also show that HGVs are now six times more likely to be involved in fatal collisions than cars on minor roads.

"The vast majority of HGVs flout existing speed restrictions, yet the Government is rewarding the road haulage industry rather than tackling this and enforcing speed limits. This is like burglary being legalised because burglary laws can't be enforced. The interests of the industry are being put above people’s safety.”

Notes to editors

  • Department for Transport (DfT) – HGV speed limit on single carriageway will increase to 50mph from 40mph and dual carriageway roads to 60mph from 50mph on 6 April 2015.
  • Government figures show that eighty two percent of articulated heavy goods vehicles exceeded their 50 mph speed limit on dual carriageways and 73 per cent exceeded their 40 mph limit on single carriageways. Source: DfT Free flow vehicle speed statistics: 2013
  • DfT: Traffic statistics table TRA0104, Accident statistics Table RAS 30017 (2013 figs issued Sep 2014) - HGVs were three and a half times more likely than cars to be involved in fatal collisions in 2007
  • DfT consultation on increasing speed limits for heavy goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes on single carriageway roads – consultation outcome
  • Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).