Articulated lorries could be increased in length to cut carbon without compromising safety

Longer lorries proposed to cut carbon emissions

Some lorries could be allowed to use longer trailers after research has shown it could cut carbon emissions.

A government consultation has now been launched proposing that articulated lorries operating within the existing weight limit of 44 tonnes should be allowed to increase in length by up to two metres.

This would take the maximum permitted length for articulated lorries to 18.75 metres but would not allow any increase in overall weight.

The Department for Transport estimates that this move could increase capacity for hauliers transporting lightweight goods by up to 13 per cent and cut carbon emissions by around 100,000 tonnes each year.

Roads minister Mike Penning said: "The road haulage industry is vital to the economy, making goods and services accessible across the country.

"These proposals would allow haulage firms to use one larger truck where previously they may have needed to send two vehicles.

"This will help to make our haulage industry cleaner and greener as well as allowing businesses greater flexibility without compromising safety."

As there is no proposed increase in weight there is not expected to be any additional pressure on road surfaces caused by the proposed increase in length.

Further information:

The consultation and study can be found here:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/open/2011-06/

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/freight/research/longersemitrailer/

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