Transport: Heavy Goods Vehicles

House of Lords written question – answered on 11th March 2013.

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Photo of Lord Bradshaw Lord Bradshaw Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Attlee on 13 February (WA 171-2), what impact the increase of capacity of heavy goods vehicles to 44 tonnes has had on the number of lorries using roads in the United Kingdom.

Photo of Earl Attlee Earl Attlee Lords Spokesperson (Department for Transport), Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

Heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) with a maximum gross weight of 44 tonnes on 6 axles were first permitted in Great Britain in 1994, but only when carrying containers for transfer to rail services or for delivery after being conveyed by rail. Such vehicles were allowed to be used for all purposes from 1 February 2001, before that the maximum limit was 38 tonnes on 5 axles, increased to 40 tonnes on 5 axles in 1999.

Data on the number of heavy goods vehicles licensed in Great Britain, by maximum gross weight, from 1994 to 2011, is published on the Government website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/10567/veh0506.xls.

These data are also shown in the table below. This shows that in 2000, before the general limit was increased to 44 tonnes, a total of 471,500 HGVs were licensed in Great Britain. In 2011 the total number of HGVs licensed was 465,500. Over this period, the number of vehicles over 41 tones has increased from 5,400 to 84,500, while the number of vehicles between 31 tonnes and 41 tonnes has fallen from 105,700 to 48,100.

Licensed heavy goods vehicles by weight (tonnes), Great Britain, annually: 1994 to 2011
Thousands
3.5 to 7 t over 7 to 8 t over 8 to 18 t over 18 to 31 t over 31 to 41 t over 41 t Total Avg Weight (t)
Thousands
1994 37.0 133.5 115.0 56.9 77.9 0.7 420.9 17.5
1995 38.7 134.0 110.7 55.4 82.8 1.2 422.9 17.7
1996 41.3 137.2 108.9 54.0 86.9 1.6 429.9 17.7
1997 41.4 139.9 106.9 54.0 91.5 2.3 436.0 17.9
1998 41.6 143.9 103.9 54.4 93.7 3.3 440.8 18.0
1999 42.3 150.1 105.9 58.0 101.2 1.6 459.2 18.3
2000 40.7 154.5 104.9 60.2 105.7 5.4 471.5 18.7
2001 39.8 155.5 104.0 61.1 92.0 25.1 477.5 19.2
2002 40.0 157.4 103.6 61.4 82.9 40.2 485.4 19.5
2003 41.6 158.5 102.5 61.7 75.2 51.7 491.1 19.7
2004 44.2 162.7 103.2 63.0 69.7 63.0 505.8 19.9
2005 46.0 161.8 102.8 62.7 64.9 69.9 508.2 20.0
2006 47.2 159.7 101.6 63.3 61.3 75.3 508.3 20.1
2007 49.0 157.0 101.4 63.3 59.9 80.2 510.8 20.3
2008 50.2 149.3 97.7 62.1 56.1 80.6 495.9 20.3
2009 51.0 141.1 94.3 60.3 51.8 79.3 477.8 20.3
2010 51.2 134.9 93.1 59.2 49.9 81.8 470.1 20.5
2011 51.9 129.9 92.2 58.9 48.1 84.5 465.5 20.7

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