New HGV speed limit takes effectThe national speed limit for HGVs travelling on single-carriageway roads has increased from 40 mph to 50 mph after the introduction of new regulations on Monday, April 6.

The amended speed limit covers single-carriageway roads outside built-up areas in England and Wales, unless specific lower local speed limits are in effect.

The move has been broadly welcomed by the road transport industry. The Freight Transport Association (FTA) said the change will improve road safety for all road users as the differential between HGVs and other motorists would be reduced. It added the changes would allow single-carriageway roads in the UK to be used more effectively and safely.

“This is a move to improve safety for all on single-carriageway roads where the 20 mph speed differential between cars and trucks can lead to hasty overtaking manoeuvres that sadly often result in casualties,” said Malcolm Bingham, FTA’s head of road network management policy.

However, road safety charity Brake said it was disappointed with the new limits. “The decision is short-sighted and runs against work to more effectively manage traffic speeds and reduce casualties on our roads,” said Brake campaigns manager, Gary Rae. “The relationship between speed and casualties is a proven one, so allowing the largest vehicles on our roads to reach higher speeds more often risks more deaths and serious injuries.

“It is a move designed to legitimise the dangerous behaviour of those who already break the speed limit while putting the safety of the law-abiding majority second.”