October 30 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, July 24, 2014
The AA has welcomed a Government decision to raise the speed limit for lorries on rural roads from 40mph to 50mph.
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.”
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More on this in tomorrow’s paper.