Road haulage firms could save £11 million a year thanks to the increase in speed limit for lorries on single carriageways, transport minister Claire Perry has said.
Lorries weighing more than 7.5 tonnes will soon be able to drive at 50mph on country roads; previously they could only drive at 40mph. Ms Perry said that this new speed limit will provide a number of benefits.
"This change will remove a 20mph difference between lorry and car speed limits, cutting dangerous overtaking and bringing permitted lorry speeds into line with other large vehicles like coaches and caravans," she stated. "Current speed limits for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) were introduced around 50 years ago and need to be updated given improved vehicle technology."
The new speed limit for HGVs will be introduced early next year in England and Wales, reports rac.co.uk. A speed limit increase is also being considered for lorries on dual carriageways by the government. If the change is approved, the speed limit on dual carriageways could rise from 50mph to 60mph.
Edmund King, AA president, commented that drivers are often frustrated by the fact lorry drivers seem to be driving much slower than they are on single carriageways, reports bbc.co.uk. He adds that the speed increases mean that journey times will be shorter, which will save people money.