Transport: Heavy Goods Vehicles

House of Lords written question – answered on 1st April 2008.

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Photo of Lord Bradshaw Lord Bradshaw Spokesperson in the Lords, Transport

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What was the cost of upgrading highways and bridges to accommodate the last increase on maximum lorry weights to 44 tonnes.

Photo of Lord Bassam of Brighton Lord Bassam of Brighton Government Whip, Government Whip

Six-axle 44-tonne lorries have been authorised on UK roads since 1 February 2001. However, since 1 January 1999, the United Kingdom has been required to implement EU directive 89/460/EC, which allows the use of road vehicles with 11.5-tonne axle loads and plated vehicle weights of 40 tonnes. These vehicles are more demanding in loading terms than a 44-tonne vehicle on six axles.

Both the Highways Agency and local highway authorities undertake considerable investment in their networks, but it is not possible to identify how much of this was specifically to accommodate 44-tonne vehicles. When the EU directive came into force, all bridges on the motorway and trunk road network were able to accommodate 40-tonne vehicles. Maintenance of other roads is a matter for the relevant local highway authority.

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