The government is increasing the number of longer semi-trailers in its long term trial by an additional 1,000 and to extend the trial by five years.
This increase will take the number of LSTs from 1,800 to approximately 2,800 over the next 12 months. Extending the term of the trial means that it will now go on until 2027.
The trial involves longer semi-trailers of 14.6 metres and 15.65 metres in length (17.5 metres and 18.55 metres total vehicle lengths respectively). The trailers must operate within the UK’s existing domestic weight limit (44 tonnes for vehicles of 6 axles).
The Freight Transport Association’s head of engineering, Andy Mair, welcomed the increase.
“FTA fully supports any increase in the total number of LSTs under trial, as these types of initiatives will play an important part in the logistics industry’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Through this trial, industry and Government are working in partnership to understand the benefits – in terms of reduced mileage and therefore emissions – of the larger vehicle type, while keeping a very close eye on safety,” he said.
The FTA pointed out that a DfT report released in September 2016 showed that LSTs continue to make a significant contribution towards reducing overall HGV miles, with subsequent environmental benefits, and pose no greater safety risk than normal HGV trailers.