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Longer lorries ‘deliver real benefits’ says Hammond

20 June 2014

The second annual report on the trial of longer semi-trailers which is helping to reduce traffic and cut carbon emissions has been published, Transport Minister Stephen Hammond has announced.

The longer semi-trailer trial was launched in 2012 allowing companies to apply for a share of 1,800 allocations to operate longer vehicles until the trial ends in 2022.

The vehicles allow more goods to be transported at once, allowing operators to reduce the number of lorries on the road. The report published today shows that between 600,000 and 900,000 vehicle kilometres have been saved by use of the longer semi-trailers in the trial so far, which means reduced emissions of carbon and other pollutants.

The report also shows that the longer semi-trailers are operating safely, with a lower rate of injury incidents than standard lorries. While these are preliminary results, this gives reassurance that they are at least as safe as other lorries.

Stephen Hammond said: "Freight operators help to keep the wheels of our economy well-oiled so we are determined to do all we can to support UK trade and industry in transporting the day-to-day goods we need.

"Longer semi-trailers enable freight companies to transport more goods, more efficiently so could have significant economic and environmental benefits – it is great news that these longer lorries are now delivering real results in fewer journeys and it is encouraging that there have been involved in fewer incidents than standard lorries.”

Longer semi-trailers should provide significant economic and environmental benefits to the UK. The operational trial will enable the government to look at these issues further and also represents an opportunity for industry to show the benefits these trailers can bring to the UK.

The trial is expected to save over 3,000 tonnes of CO₂ over 10 years. The overall benefits are estimated at £33 million over 10 years.

The longer semi-trailer trial was launched as part of the 2011 logistics growth review.