Just a year ago, SMMT responded to a Department for Transport consultation on carrying out a 48-tonne intermodal freight trial. Things seem to have moved on at a pace: DfT is now conducting a feasibility study for trialling Longer and Heavier vehicles (LHVs) on GB roads. Our understanding is that LHV refers to a variety of vehicle combinations at around 25m length and operating at 50 or 60 tonnes, common in many European countries.
Much work needs to be done on building understanding of the safety and infrastructure implications and a lengthy trial is likely to be the next stage. These vehicles of course could have significant decarbonisation benefits. SMMT has lobbied for this for many years, and we look forward to the consultation.
DfT is also seeking to procure research into the Drivers’ Hours and Working Time rules applicable to drivers of large goods vehicles (over 3.5 tonnes). The main objective is to assess the effectiveness of existing regulations in mitigating the road safety risk of fatigue related incidents, and to explore the impact of any relaxation of the rules. Interesting times, with much going on.
Much will also be going on next week with electrification – SMMT’s Electrified conference will be taking place on Wednesday 23 March. For information on tickets, contact firstname.lastname@example.org