FTA backs single-carriageway A-road speed limit rise

Posted on 7th February 2013 By Steve Clark

Raising the speed limit for LGVs to 50mph on all A-roads in England will improve safety and keep traffic moving, according to the Freight Transport Association(FTA).

Following the closure of the consultation into increasing the speed limit, the FTA said that although the matter was complex, the quality of roads, the improvements in vehicle engineering and the professionalism of lorry drivers all meant that the speed limit needed overhauling.

FTA managing director James Hookham said its response to the Department for Transport outlined why a blanket increase was preferable: “We are anxious to make sure the government keeps this in perspective. There are many high quality A-roads where truck drivers do feel they can safely achieve higher speeds, keep traffic moving and reduce the likelihood of dangerous overtaking manoeuvres.

“The presumption made by other people is that this is a free for all for faster trucks. We would argue you could trust the discretion of professional drivers to exercise judgment here.”

The Road Haulage Association‘s response was naturally also in favour of an increase, but RHA head of policy Jack Semple added: “Not on all A-roads, but on A-roads where the national speed limit is 60mph, because that would reduce the dangerous overtaking and frustration caused by car drivers.”

Semple added: “That is the strong view of our members and also we have evidence of strong support among drivers as well. The government says it’s unable to establish clearly whether it would make roads safer or not. We are saying, in the view of people professionally operating and driving lorries, it would.”

The Department for Transport said a summary of responses will be published within three months.

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