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Small rise in speeds after HGV limit rise


24 July 2020

Increasing the speed limit for heavy goods vehicles on single carriageway and dual carriageway roads has had only a marginal impact on vehicle speeds because so many lorries were disobeying the original limit, a study for the DfT has concluded.  

In April 2015 the speed limit in England and Wales for goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes was raised from 40 to 50mph on single carriageways and from 50 to 60mph on dual carriageways. 

The DfT appointed consultant AECOM to monitor the impact of the change on outcomes such as speed, safety, noise, air quality and journey times.

The final report says many HGVs were travelling in excess of the speed limit before the limit was raised. On single carriageway roads, before and after surveys show HGV speeds increased by a statistically significant 1.6mph, from 44.1mph to 45.7mph. 

On dual carriageways, they increased by a statistically significant 0.5 mph, from 52.0mph to 52.5mph.

AECOM says there is no evidence that the change in speed limit has led to a change in collisions involving HGVs on either single or dual carriageways. 

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