Large Goods Vehicles: Speed Limits

House of Lords written question – answered on 9th December 2014.

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Photo of Lord Berkeley Lord Berkeley Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Statement by Baroness Kramer on 1 December (WS 65), what is the evidence that “actual average speeds are unlikely to change” as a result of increasing the speed limit for heavy goods vehicles on dual carriageway roads from 50 to 60 miles per hour.

Photo of Baroness Kramer Baroness Kramer Minister of State (Department for Transport)

The Government conducted an impact assessment on raising the national speed limit for heavy goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes on dual carriageway roads. The impact assessment has been deposited in the libraries of both Houses, and has been published on the GOV.UK website at:

The impact assessment outlines that based on observed speeds, taken from National Statistics, heavy goods vehicles on dual carriageway roads travel at an average of 53mph in free-flow conditions. On motorways, the HGV speed limit is 60 mph but the average speed travelled by heavy goods vehicles is also 53 mph.

We believe that professional HGV drivers are likely to have the same behavioural response to road conditions as car drivers, and will drive at the same speed or more slowly on dual carriageways than on motorways. It is implausible that HGVs would choose to drive faster on dual carriageways than on motorways. In addition, HGVs are required by EU Directive 2002/85/EC to fit speed limiters to vehicles set at 56mph.

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