FTA cautious over simplification of speed limit rules

Tuesday 02 February 2010

Government proposals to reduce the maximum legal speed limit for some lorries on our motorways have been met with caution by leading trade body the Freight Transport Association (FTA).

Jo Tanner of the FTA said:

“While we welcome DfT’s attempts to simplify the speed limit rules, any such proposals will need to be properly communicated to the general public and there will need to be clear signage on the road network.

“This further emphasises FTA’s call to amend the Highway Code to teach drivers how to behave around larger vehicles and to be more understanding about other road users.”

FTA is also wary about further legal speed reductions, which will widen the differential between commercial vehicles and motorists.

Tanner concluded:

“Slower speeds do not necessarily mean safer roads. Reducing the speed limit for some lorries will widen the speed differential between commercial vehicles and motorists, which may engender dangerous overtaking from frustrated road users and could actually pose a safety risk.”

Notes for editors

1. The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Transport (Paul Clark): The Department has today issued a consultation document on proposals to vary the motorway speed limits for certain classes of commercial vehicles. Under the proposals, the maximum speed limit for HGVs not exceeding 7.5 tonnes would be reduced from 70mph to 60mph. The change would also see the maximum speed limit for passenger carrying vehicles adapted to carry more than 8 passengers (PCVs) and not exceeding 12 metres in length reduced from 70mph to 65mph; and, the limit for longer PCVs increased from 60mph to 65mph.

2. FTA believes the possible benefits of increasing the speed limit for commercial vehicles on single carriageway, derestricted roads could be:

 a reduction in car drivers making dangerous overtaking manoeuvres through impatience 
 a reduction in stress for lorry drivers – aware they are causing inconvenience for other road users 
 shorter overall journey times meaning drivers spending less time behind the wheel unnecessarily 
 improved fuel efficiency and reduced tailpipe emissions 


FTA Press Office

01892 552255