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Up to 90,000 journeys avoided

07 September 2016

Up to 90,000 lorry journeys have been cut under a pilot scheme on Britain’s roads, which has led to cleaner air, and reduced congestion.

The government’s trial project - using longer semi-trailers to transport goods between warehouses and depots has saved up to 10.6 million vehicle kilometres and is cutting the number of lorries on our roads.

The scheme, which involves approximately 1,800 trucks, is expected to save over 3,000 tonnes of CO₂ emissions, meaning cleaner air for the public.
Transport Minister John Hayes said: “Lorries are the engine of our economy and this pilot scheme is helping hauliers deliver the day-to-day goods we need more efficiently. 

“This is good news for consumers, a boost for motorists as it is helping cut congestion with fewer vehicles on the road and it is also helping the environment.”

The economic benefits of the project are estimated at £33 million over the next 10 years, with British hauliers saving up to one in nine journeys with their lorries that are up to 15 per cent longer than standard 13.60 metre vehicles, cutting costs.

Despite the bigger size, they will still meet the existing manoeuvrability requirements and maximum weight limit of 44 tonnes for six-axle vehicles.

These new lorries are safer; nationally, they have been involved in around 70 per cent fewer collisions and casualties, per kilometre, compared to the average for standard articulated lorries.
Following these positive results we are consulting trade associations and participants on whether to increase the number of vehicles in the trial.

We are also seeking views on extending the trial.

The trial was launched as part of the 2011 logistics growth review. The fourth annual report on the trial is online here.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) says the report shows that longer semi-trailers (LSTs) continue to make a significant contribution towards reducing HGV miles, with subsequent environmental benefits, and pose no greater safety risk than normal HGV trailers.

Karen Dee, FTA’s Director of Policy, said: “We are pleased that once again the report is demonstrating that LSTs have a really good safety record. In addition, the improved efficiencies that they offer are reducing the overall number of lorry journeys and thus reducing fuel use and the associated emissions. These types of developments will continue to play an essential part in efforts to tackle climate change and improve air quality.”

Dee added: “Almost three quarters of goods movements are carried by road rather than by rail or water. We need to maximise the use of rail and water freight as part of making the UK’s supply chain as efficient, clean and safe as possible, but they can never replace road – that is why we need to maximise the efficiency of road freight as well as the other modes.”