From next Wednesday the 31st May operational road transport equipment can include longer semi-trailer (LST) combinations up to 18.55 meters in length, which is an increase of 2.05 meters on today’s standard size.
The government has calculated that the additional volume created by the extra 2.05 meter length will result in 8% fewer journeys than current trailers and take one standard-size trailer off the road for every 12 trips.
The use of longer lorries on British roads follows an 11-year safety trial, which showed that LSTs were involved in around 61% fewer personal injury collisions than conventional lorries.
The Department for Transport (DfT) says that introducing LSTs, is an important, easy and affordable measure to continue to reduce CO2 emissions from the haulage industry without significant technological and infrastructure development.
The road freight industry welcome the move, saying it would mean more goods could be transported by fewer vehicles.
Under the new rules, operators will be legally required to carry out LST risk assessments and ensure they take appropriate routes.
In addition to these new legal requirements, operators will also be expected to put in place extra safety checks including driver training and scheduling, record keeping, training for transport managers and key staff, and loading of LSTs.
Despite their extra length, the new LSTs will be subjected to the same 44-tonne weight limits as standard HGVs, but are expected to create almost £1.4 billion in net economic benefits by ensuring more goods are carried on fewer vehicles.
However the Road Haulage Association urged the government to go further by increasing the permitted weight to 48 tonnes, which will be increasingly important when the industry roll out zero-emission trucks to compensate for the increased weight from batteries.
Grant Liddell, Metro managing director commented, “Our manufacturing, retail and shipping customers depend on road transport and these new longer lorries will make a big difference, by increasing operational capacity, while reducing carbon impact and driving economic efficiencies. We welcome an initiative that will add value, while reducing congestion, lowering emissions and enhancing the safety of British roads.”
For the right type of cargos and transport situation LSTs will be a cost-efficient, environmentally prudent alternative to conventional vehicles.
If you would like to explore the potential of LSTs and the benefits of our road transport solutions, EMAIL Matt Paxton-Rhodes to begin a conversation.