After a trial period of more than 11 years the UK haulage industry has the go ahead for the use of longer trailers.
Known as longer semi-trailers (LSTs), they are part of a larger government move to help cut carbon emissions.
It is estimated that the change will save 70,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.
LSTs measure up to 2.05 metres longer than a standard semi-trailer and can be towed by a lorry, transporting consumer goods and retail products, as well as waste packaging, parcels, and pallets.
The trial proved that LSTs can be used safely, with tests showing they were involved in around 61% fewer personal injury collisions than conventional lorries.
Beatons director Nick Marshall said: “The government expects that LSTs will create almost £1.4 billion in net economic benefits as more goods will be carried on fewer vehicles, supporting productivity and boosting the economy.
More than 300 companies in the UK have taken part in the trial and some of the biggest brands will be rolling out the extended use of these longer semi-trailers including:
- Royal Mail
The economic benefits of LSTs have been calculated as part of a government consultation impact process, the details of which can be accessed here.
Nick Marshall added: “The LSTs will be subject to extra safety checks including driver training and scheduling, record keeping, training for transport managers and key staff which could potentially become an extra outgoing for the company, on top of the cost of conversion to the longer trailer, so businesses must keep this in mind, balancing the income potential against the expense.
“However, the trials appear to have proved an affordable way for larger companies to significantly reduce their impact on the environment.”
Vehicles will be subject to the same 44 tonne weight limit as those using standard trailers and operators will be legally required to ensure appropriate route plans and risk assessments are made.
The introduction of LSTs will help cut CO2 emissions across the haulage industry without significant technological and infrastructure development, with the goal of ensuring all new heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) are net-zero by 2040.
Further details of the announcement can be accessed here. UK economy boosted by £1.4 billion as longer lorries roll out on roads - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
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