An independent report, commissioned by Freight on Rail, is being published tomorrow on government proposals to extend lorry lengths by 2.05 metres. Supporters of this proposal argue that longer lorries will mean fewer road journeys, but opponents represented by the Campaign for Better Transport and Freight on Rail, say that these assumptions are mistaken.
The Campaign predicts that increasing the length of freight lorries could result in six more road deaths per year, more congestion and would increase the costs of small and medium size hauliers.
Campaigners say that previous increases in length or weight have resulted in the same number of lorries on the road, but carrying smaller freight payloads. HGVs are already almost four times more likely to be involved in a fatal road accident than cars, due to the effect of increased tail swing and bigger driver blind spots when turning.
The CEO of Campaign for Better Transport said: “The government’s research is misleading and inaccurate….the government needs to re-examine its own figures as a matter of urgency.