To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his Department's trial of longer semi-trailers of travel on (a) urban and (b) minor roads, what assessment he has made of the effect of those trailers on other road users.
The effect on other road users is being assessed in two ways, recording both safety and emissions/congestion.
All safety incidents on the public highway (also including at service areas, car parks etc.) are reportable under the terms of the trial. The injury incident rates (per km) for longer semi-trailers compared to other articulated HGVs were noted in the 2016 Annual Report. The longer semi-trailers on the trial are being operated more safely than the trailers they replace both nationally and on roads in urban areas, with the injury incident rate being around 30% of the rate for all articulated HGVs.
The reduction in the number of trips required to deliver the same goods also benefits other road users in terms of reduced injury risk exposure, as well as emissions/pollution and congestion. Where longer semi-trailers are used, the 2016 Annual Report showed an average saving of one in 20 journeys (5%) across all operators rising to one in 9 ((11.5%) for those operators consistently using the trailers at maximum loading.