MP says raising HGV speed limit will help reduce road rage for frustrated Fen drivers
17:36 04 September 2014
NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay says a decision by the Government to relax speed restrictions for lorries and heavy goods vehicles could help reduce accidents on Fen roads.
The Department for Transport announced that HGVs weighing more than 7.5tonnes would now be allowed to travel at 50mph on single carriageways, up from the old limit of 40mph.
Mr Barclay, who has lobbied ministers repeatedly about the issue, said motorists would often get frustrated sitting behind slow-moving vehicles while travelling on Fen roads and said relaxing the speed limit was a step in the right direction.
He said: “This is a very welcome decision from the government, as the previous speed limit for HGVs had been in place since the 1960s.
“Residents often find themselves stuck behind lorries, given the high number of haulage firms in the Fens. Yet, as almost all the roads are single carriageway, it can be dangerous to try and overtake.
“The existing 40mph speed limit can therefore cause accidents, as drivers get frustrated travelling at 40mph behind a lorry and try to overtake when it’s not suitable to do so.”
Mr Barclay said hauliers across the country could see an £11 million-a-year boost for because of savings in time and fuel costs the rise in speed limit could generate.
He said: “There has been a lot of new technology introduced over the last 50 years, so it makes good sense to bring the speed limit for these lorries up in line with other large vehicles like coaches and caravans.
“This is also good for the local economy and for people’s leisure time, as less time will be wasted stuck in slow-moving traffic.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do you think raising the speed limit will help the situation on Fen roads? Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Elt Standard, Alexander House, Fore Hill, Ely, CB7 4AF.