The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has announced its support for the launch of a new trial of an increased speed limit for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) using the A9 in Scotland over the coming months.
Set to come into force from October 28th, the scheme will see the speed limit for HGVs with a laden weight of more than 7.5 tonnes rise for the route from its current level of 40 mph to 50 mph for the next 36 months.
The project is taking place as part of ongoing efforts to determine whether or not an increase in top speed for HGVs will have an adverse impact on road safety or, conversely, if doing so will act to reduce the number of accidents through the difference in speed of these vehicles and other road users being reduced.
A major issue that has surrounded the lower speed limit for HGVs in the UK over recent years has been the disparity in speed between these vehicles and other smaller road users, leading to cases where drivers could embark on risky overtaking manoeuvres as a result of becoming frustrated with slower moving HGVs up ahead.
It now remains to be seen whether or not this change will help to reduce the likelihood of this dangerous activity taking place.
Malcolm Bingham, the FTA's head of road network management policy, stated: "We welcome the opportunity for such a trial as we believe the current differential in speed limits between HGVs and other vehicles increases the road safety risk.
"This trial will provide some much needed evidence to help determine if there are any advantages, on safety grounds, in setting the speed limit of an HGV to 50 mph."
The project will coincide with the introduction of new average speed camera systems along the A9, which is traditionally one of the most congested routes in Scotland, with the scheme hoping to improve the operational performance of the carriageway over the coming months.
Posted on 10th October 2014
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