A mega truck in Stuttgart. Photo: Allianz pro Schiene/Kraufman
The UK Government has announced that it's considering allowing the length of lorries to increase by almost seven feet (2.05 metres).
This change would lead to more accidents, more Carbon emissions and more congestion.
Cheaper road transport will speed up the rate of growth in road freight transport. Freight will shift away from environmentally friendly modes of transport like the railways and inland waterways and onto the roads.
- The suggestion is to increase HGV trailer lengths by up to 2.05 metres: a 17 per cent increase.
- Longer lorries would be bad for road safety. Accidents will be more severe if heavier trucks are involved. Longer lorries could increase road crashes by between four and eight per cent and result in an extra six fatalities per year. Lorries are already four times more likely than cars to be involved in fatal accidents on local roads.
- Increased lorry size will mean they may not be able to reach many of their destinations. This will result in extra feeder journeys from local distribution depots to these destinations.
- Longer lorries would be bad for the environment. Their claimed environmental benefits rely on them driving around full. In reality, more than a quarter of lorries on the road are empty and many more are only partly filled. Previous increases in lorry size have resulted in more lorries driving around less full.
- Longer lorries would undermine rail freight, which produces 70 per cent less carbon dioxide than road freight. Most goods are bulky but not heavy, so the problem for most lorry firms is volume, not weight.
- Even the road haulage industry is divided in its views about the plans, as the length increase would undermine medium and small operators and could cost them £1.8 billion in depreciation over five years. It could also lead to redundancy for some lorry drivers.
Please email your MP and let them know you don't want longer lorries.