Lorries are being banned from overtaking on a three mile stretch of the M42, in an effort to reduce congestion. The ban came into force on October 10 2005 and is being trialled for 18 months, between 7am and 7pm daily.
The restriction on the northbound section between J10 and J11, affects lorries weighing 7.5 tonnes and over. The aim is to reduce both congestion and to also cut the risk of accidents caused by slow-moving traffic. Highways Agency area performance manager Iftikhar Mir says: “Heavy vehicles slow down on the uphill slope and when they try to overtake each other, it can block the motorway and slow down the traffic for several miles.” When asked if the Highways Agency were working alongside distribution companies on the new ruling, a spokesperson comments: “It is not possible to consult with individual hauliers and therefore we rely on the FTA [Freight Transport Association] and RHA [Road Haulage Association] to cascade the information to their members.” On enforcement the Highways Agency goes on to comment: “The purpose of the trial is to assess the effects on journey time and driver behaviour.” The Highways Agency did also go on to comment: “We recognise the concerns of the haulage industry but we need to find a way to tackle congestion that benefits all road users, including HGVs.”