What do you think? Speed limits increased for lorries driving on rural roads

File photo dated 21/4/2009 of  a 50mph speed limit sign. The AA has welcomed a Government decision to raise the speed limit for lorries on rural roads from 40mph to 50mph. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday July 24, 2014. The Government is also consulting on increasing the speed limit for lorries on dual carriageways from 50mph to 60mph. See PA story TRANSPORT Lorries. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire File photo dated 21/4/2009 of a 50mph speed limit sign. The AA has welcomed a Government decision to raise the speed limit for lorries on rural roads from 40mph to 50mph. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday July 24, 2014. The Government is also consulting on increasing the speed limit for lorries on dual carriageways from 50mph to 60mph. See PA story TRANSPORT Lorries. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Thursday, July 24, 2014
11:40 AM

The AA has welcomed a Government decision to raise the speed limit for lorries on rural roads from 40mph to 50mph.

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AA president Edmund King said: “This seems like a common sense move. Every driver has probably experienced being stuck behind a lorry travelling at their legal 40mph limit on a single carriageway main road with a national default speed limit of 60mph for cars.

“This 20mph speed differential can lead to bunching and dangerous overtaking manoeuvres. So we welcome the plans to allow trucks to legally travel at 50mph on these roads to end this frustrating, dangerous, historic anomaly.”

The Government is also consulting on increasing the speed limit for lorries on dual carriageways from 50mph to 60mph.

Mr King said an AA/Populus survey showed that 81pc of drivers did not know the legal national speed limit for lorries on single carriageway main roads.

He added: “So it is no wonder other drivers get frustrated, perhaps thinking the lorry driver was just being awkward, lost or was trying to save fuel.

“Smoother traffic flow also provides some economic benefit by improving journey times. We do appreciate that some have concerns about letting lorries travel faster but a more realistic limit should lead to better compliance by all.”

Mr King said the AA would study the dual carriageway lorry proposal. He went on: “Lorries today are much safer than they were many decades ago and so it should be feasible for them to travel faster to help the economy and smooth traffic flow as well as reducing tailgating and crashes.”

RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said: “For drivers there is nothing more dangerous than single carriageway rural roads, with two-thirds of car occupants dying on these types of route.

“The hope is that the raising of the limit will bring vehicle speeds closer together and reduce the temptation for people to overtake where they should not.

“We would expect the Department for Transport to closely monitor the change to make sure this is the case.”

What do you think? Leave your vote or make a comment below.

More on this in tomorrow’s paper.

20 comments

  • Don't forget, most of the speed limits were set before so many safety improvements in vehicles, such as anti-lock brakes, air bags, anti-submarine seats, seatbelt pre-tensioners, power steering, crumple zones, etc. Plus, a fair majority of rural road accidents occur at junctions due to people pulling out at the wrong time, rather than speed, as the nature of the road means you can't often reach the posted limit. "Excess speed", as quoted in accident statistics, is not necessarily exceeding the posted speed limit, but exceeding what is a safe speed for the road, the conditions and the vehicle. What's fine one day at 60mph because it's dry and no other traffic would be suicidal on another day with rain and lots of other vehicles and 40mph would be an unsafe speed. Personally I believe driver education should be the priority, with the introduction of mini tests every 10 years for all drivers to ensure we're thinking about our driving, and a tough test should a driver be banned before they can get their licence back.

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    So_Many_Haters!

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • The most sensible decision I have seen in a long time. Hopefully next the police may just start to clamp down on drivers who travel at 20-30 mph in a 50-60 mph speed limit! Lets face it exceeding speed limits is dangerous and so is driving too slowly. These drivers are not even thinking about the speed limit as all too often when they reach a speed limit sign they will still continue to drive the same speed. A classic example of this is approaching the 30 then 20 mph sign at coltishall from North Walsham. Someone will be dithering all along the 60 mph straight at say 35 to 40 mph gazing at fields and the panoramic views along the way, then continue on at the same speed all through the village. In fact some will drive so slow I often ask myself why they don't just take a bus ride instead.

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    getalife

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • How long before the numpties in charge of speed limits in Norfolk reduce all speed limits to 40mph to spite this proposal? Norfolk is the most over (speed) regulated county in England.

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    andy

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • We'll all the lorries seem to think its OK to speed past my house which is in a 30, at a raging 50+ mph, so speed limits are of no concern to lorry drivers. They are all a menace in my village of east harling.....I daren't even walk my children to school. On the main roads, well they also cause their fare of accidents also....so nope the 50 should remain in my opinion...imagine the extra damage they could create doing. 60!

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    luanmapo

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • About time. anyone who is stuck behind a tesco lorry day in day out along the A47 has to welcome this. for those who say they dont stick to 40, suggests to me they dont drive very much

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    Jim Drewery

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • AT LAST!!! This is excellent news, except it should have been 60mph rather than 50mph. It seems to be that most lorries already do 60mph quite safely anyway - it's only the supermarket trucks that stick to 40mph, causing massive tailbacks of frustrated car drivers. @Footyboy16 is spot on, it will be an amazing sight to see a Tesco truck doing more than 39mph on the A47. All their drivers will need training how to drive at such a speed!

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    Citizen of EUSSR

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Blimey a Tesco Lorry doing 50mph !! That I will have to see lol... the Tesco drivers are like drones where ever they are it 40mph all the way, miles of tailbacks behind them and they stick to 40mph !! yet coaches with 52 passengers on board do in excess of 60-70mph ... makes me laugh car drivers moan when they get behind a lorry as its going 40mph, but when it comes to raising the speed limit they still moan !!! lol

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    Footyboy16

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • YES. Increase the limit for lorries to 50mph on A roads. Also increase it to 60 on dual carriageways. As the limit is 60mph on motorways, the lorries should NOT be limited to 56mph. They should be allowed to do the legal limit. At 40mph, most lorries will NOT be in top gear, therefore using more fuel than if they were travelling quicker. There's nothing more annoying than getting stuck behind a lorry doing his legal maximum of 40mph if nobody will even try to overtake. 50mph is a more acceptable speed.

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    Lord Elf

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Personally, I'm glad this is happening. Back in the day when the 40 limit was set, a lorry would struggle to make 40mph, let alone stop at that speed. Nowadays they have full ABS, disc brakes and air suspension. A modern 44 ton artic is more than capable of stopping more or less on a sixpence. The problem with 40mph is as mentioned in the article. People get bored, frustrated and angry, and start doing dangerous overtaking moves, or feel pressured to do so by those behind. Maybe the government has finally cottoned on to the fact that if they let them go a little faster, they will use a bit more fuel, and thus they will rake in a bit more money in the way of duty & VAT? :)

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    Jay Hill

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Once, on the A17 near Sutton Bridge at 5 am in the morning, I followed a tanker which was clearly doing around 70 mph-for quite a distance as well and seemed to be having no problems braking for corners etc. Modern lorries are surely a very different beast to those on the road fifty years ago.

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    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • About time- 40mph for modern lorries with modern braking systems carrying boxes of crisps and toilet rolls on the A47 and A10 and A15 and A17 was absurd. It is even absurd on most B class roads. They are the reason for accidents caused by impatience, when motorists know they have tens if not scores of miles ahead where overtaking may be extremely difficult. Even if they restrict this to A and B class roads, and put a laden weight restriction on the upper limit it will be an improvement. We had got to the crazy point where modern tractors doing 40mph have to pull over at laybys but lorries can have a huge tail of traffic behind and ignore it.

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    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Having travelled back from London on a coach and been able to look into the cabs of many lorry drivers most seem to be filling in work sheets, texting or looking at their tablets, the thought of them doing this on country roads fills me with dread

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    blister

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Bad idea, stick to 40, but lorries do there own thing most of the time, but having said that these HGV drivers do know how to handle things and are sometimes not given respect from other drivers

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    Derek McDonald

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Anyone ever seen a lorry keeping to the speed limit on our rural roads?

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    norman hall

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Welcome the idea although it wont reduce the accidents as car drivers will still overtake lorries at dangerous points whatever speed the lorries are doing.

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    norfolkandgood

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • This decision in my opinion is long overdue, as on many occasions I have seen the supermarket delivery lorries who stick to the limits, and other drivers getting very frustrated being behind them, and then making crazy overtaking moves. I have often thought a bad accident is going to happen on day.

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    bubuk

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • My son 20yrs old has been driving HGV1, 44 tonners all over the country for 2 years and has said it causes problems for other motorists when you can only do 40mph. I won't say all but the vast majority of lorry drivers know they are handling a lot of weight and take this into consideration. IMO it is a good idea to raise the speed limit to 50mph.

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    JEN

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Wont make any difference to the Cantley sugar beet lorries as they do a lot more than 50 mph along High road Norwich Road.

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    "V"

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Why did you ask Archant?

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    Piranha24

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Disgraceful decision as they never know what is around a corner, should be a 30 mile limit, when I drove lorries I was happy to keep to this speed.

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    blister

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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