From the 31st May, any business in England, Scotland and Wales is permitted to use longer lorries on the road. The government hope this will make businesses more efficient and cut emissions. Many fleet owners are welcoming the approval as it results in more goods being transported using fewer vehicles. The Department for Transport (DfT) claims that vehicles would help businesses become more productive. The bakery chain Greggs has been using longer lorries since 2013 and states it can carry 15% more goods than a usual lorry trailer. However, anti-longer lorries campaigns have also been surfacing amid fears that the rear end of the lorry covers a much larger area putting pedestrians and cyclists at increased risk. Currently, there are already 3,000 of these longer lorries in use, which have been trialled since 2011. They are 18.55m long. This is about 2.05m longer than the standard-sized lorry.
According to the government, the decision is expected to yield economic benefits amounting to £1.4 billion while reducing road traffic. Longer lorries on the road will remove one standard-size trailer for every 12 trips. Over the span of 11 years, it is estimated that these vehicles will prevent the release of 70,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The Department for Transport (DfT) also highlighted that these vehicles have been involved in significantly fewer personal injury collisions, with approximately 61% fewer incidents compared to conventional lorries.
However, the Campaign for Better Transport said the change was a "deeply retrograde step" which will "do nothing to tackle carbon emissions or air pollution". Additionally, spokesman Norman Baker adds that the bigger "tail swing" of the lorries presented a "danger to other road users and pedestrians". He adds: "Rather than longer lorries, the government should be working to ensure more freight is moved by rail - an efficient, safe and clean alternative with just one freight train capable of removing up to 129 lorries from our roads." In July 2021, a report commissioned by the government disclosed that incidents involving longer lorries resulted in injuries to 58 individuals from 2012 to 2020. As per the new regulations, operators will have a legal obligation to conduct risk assessments and ensure that suitable routes are chosen. The longer lorries will adhere to the same weight limit of 44 tonnes as those utilising standard trailers. Nevertheless, a representative from the Road Haulage Association encouraged the government to take additional steps by raising the permissible weight to 48 tonnes. "This will be increasingly important when we roll out zero-emission trucks to compensate for the increased weight from batteries," he said.
To address concerns about the potential risks associated with longer lorries on the road, Pay as you Track offers a comprehensive solution with advanced technology, including cameras strategically placed to cover blind spots. These cameras provide real-time video feeds to drivers, significantly improving visibility and minimising blind spots. By having a complete view of their surroundings, drivers can make informed decisions and manoeuvre the vehicle safely. The integration of cameras on blind spots is a proactive measure to mitigate risks and ensure the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users.
At Pay as you Track, we recognise the importance of reducing emissions and improving operational efficiency. Our telematics solutions enable businesses to monitor fuel usage effectively. By closely tracking fuel consumption patterns, fleet managers can identify areas for improvement and implement fuel-saving strategies. This not only helps in reducing carbon emissions but also contributes to cost savings. By leveraging our technology, businesses can achieve their sustainability goals while optimizing their operational efficiency.
Another critical aspect of our solution is the integration of sensors into our tracking systems. These sensors act as an additional safety measure by providing real-time alerts and notifications to drivers. They are designed to detect potential hazards such as sudden braking or lane departure and promptly alert drivers, enabling them to take immediate corrective actions. By leveraging the power of sensors, fleet owners can prioritise the safety of road users and minimise risks associated with longer lorries. This proactive approach ensures that drivers are aware of their surroundings and can respond swiftly to potential dangers.
Don't worry, that's where we come in. We can help you and your business decide what solution is right for your fleet.