Large Goods Vehicles

Department for Transport written question – answered on 9th June 2015.

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Photo of Eilidh Whiteford Eilidh Whiteford Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Social Justice and Welfare)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make it his policy to introduce HGV overtaking restrictions on two-lane motorways and on some A-roads to reduce light vehicle journey times; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

There are no current plans to place overtaking restrictions on Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) on motorways and trunk roads, beyond their current prohibition from the outside lane of any motorway with three or more lanes. Such restrictions could delay journeys and lead to increased operating costs which could be passed on to consumers.

In addition, the possibility of nose to tail convoys of HGVs in the nearside lane could cause difficulty for drivers wishing to join or leave the motorway. All drivers should know and apply the rules contained in The Highway Code, which includes advice and rules to drivers on overtaking and lane discipline.

However, in very specific locations where there have been congestion problems caused by lorries overtaking on uphill sections of the strategic road network, restrictions have been put in place by Highways England. These restrictions have only been kept in place where clear evidence shows overall journey time improvements. If the Hon Member is concerned more specifically about the situation on roads in Scotland, she should contact Transport Scotland who have a similar power in Scotland to ban overtaking on specific sections of road.

In addition, we have recently increased the national speed limit for HGVs of more than 7.5 tonnes on dual carriageway roads in England and Wales from 50mph to 60mph. This may help to assist with light vehicle journey times when HGV drivers do choose to overtake on dual carriageways. This change only applies to England and Wales so if the Hon Member is concerned more specifically about the situation on roads in Scotland, she should discuss this with the Scottish Government.

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