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Road safety warning on longer lorries as Government looks to extend their use

6 September 2016 

Transport experts are warning that longer heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) pose a significant road safety risk and should be restricted in towns and cities, despite Government plans to increase their use.

Responding to the Department for Transport’s plan to potentially extend a ten year trial of longer lorries and increase the number of vehicles involved, Philippa Edmunds, Campaign for Better Transport, said:

“The Government is continuing to ignore the danger posed by these longer lorries on urban roads. Our concern is that these longer trucks will become the new standard trucks operating on all roads, regardless of the dangers to other road users. We want to see the Government limit their use to designated local authority routes within urban areas to reduce the risks to other road users, protect pavements and property from damage, and reduce the current financial burden of repairs that currently falls on local authorities and taxpayers.”

Previous analysis by Campaign for Better Transport has shown that these longer vehicles have almost double the tail swing of standard HGVs making them unsuitable for use in towns and cities. 


Download the graphic here. For further information please contact Alice Ridley on 020 7566 6495 / 07984 773 468 or alice.ridley@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to editors

  1. The Department for Transport has permitted a ten year trial of 17.60m (58ft) and 18.55m (61ft) lorries, which started in January 2012. The current limit is 16.5m (54ft) for articulated lorries. The Fourth Annual Report on the trial is available here.
  2. Campaign for Better Transport and the Technical Advisers Group used modelling software and data collected during a partial demonstration of the new longer vehicle at the Department for Transport testing facility MIRA at Nuneaton, Warwickshire on 14 April to simulate how these longer lorries would perform when undertaking a standard left hand turn. The simulation showed the rear tail-swing when turning corners was significantly greater than normal HGVs, up from 1.7m (5.5ft) to 3.3m (10.8ft) under normal road conditions. A graphic showing the effects of the left hand turn is available here.
  3. 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).