Following the successful trial over nine years which saw a reduction in the number of lorries making journeys across the country, and the consultation outcome, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that longer semi-trailers (LSTs) could be rolled out sometime in 2022
The announcement about steps to reduce the impact of haulage sector on the environment comes as the UK prepares to host the COP26, the 26th UN Climate Change Conference in November.
Of those taking part in the consultation 57% felt the LSTs should be in general circulation and could see positive effects for the haulage industry and the efforts to lead the fight against climate change. As well as an average reduction in miles covered, a 6.2% reduction in pollutants expelled it was found the use of LSTs reduced the number of road traffic collisions, resulting from fewer journeys.
While the trial of LSTs showed fewer collisions were caused road safety continues to be a prime concern. Additional mitigations are under review to ensure hauliers and road users are kept even safer.
Government will also launch a separate trial for using heavier, 48-tonne lorries, soon. The trial would ensure that the lorries are used only on specific routes and would limit their use to a maximum journey length.
Currently the maximum weight of a lorry is 44 tonnes and makes it difficult to carry heavier goods to rail depots, meaning that goods are dispersed between larger numbers of lorries to get to their destinations by road . These heavier lorries will be able to transport heavier containers directly to and from rail depots to transport goods across the country by rail, helping to reduce congestion across the country and also emissions.