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Fuelcard Blog Updates: Longer lorries – long shot?

An intense debate about the benefits and drawbacks of allowing longer lorries on the UK’s roads has hotted up this week after a Department for Transport consultation ended on Tuesday (21 June).

The Government plans to increase the maximum length of semi-trailers permitted on the roads to 18.75m, 2.05m longer than the current limit.

Industry bodies argue that longer lorries will improve logistics efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions and congestion, however there has been outcry from campaign groups, who claim that the move would put small hauliers out of business and compromise road safety.

Research commissioned by the DfT has suggested the move would reduce carbon emissions by around 100,000 tonnes a year –is this significant pro enough to outweigh the cons?

And how would lengthening lorries REALLY affect fleet operations and efficiency? There will be no increase in the maximum lorry weight permitted on the roads, so the focus of these proposals is the increased capacity to transport lightweight goods, expected to be up to 13 per cent. But what about heavier items?

The question is will anyone REALLY know the benefits and drawbacks of such a scheme until it’s put to the test? Perhaps a trial scheme would be a good idea before the motion is completely embraced, or conversely, completely ruled out.

Take part in a LinkedIn discussion taking place in the Fleet Management Forum Group right now and tell us what YOU think.


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