Longer trailers should be permanent, says FTA

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The ten-year trial of longer semi-trailers has proved so successful that they should become permanent, the Freight Transport Association has said in response to the latest trial report from the Department for Transport.

The trailers are up to 2.05m longer than the standard 13.6m units, and the report found that owning to the higher carrying capacity of LSTs, over 10 million miles of HGV journeys have been removed from the road – avoiding on average 1 in 19 of the trips done by the participating companies.

It also said that, assessed by distance travelled, “LSTs have been involved in around 70 per cent fewer personal injury collisions and casualties, than the average for GB articulated HGVs.”

Christopher Snelling, head of national and regional policy, said: “The success of the LST trial is clear and undeniable – it is time DfT looked to simply establish the flexibility in law so that the UK can continue to benefit from the efficiency it brings. The success of this project shows what can be gained from adding marginally to a dimensions of our road freight fleet – massive carbon, air quality and safety benefits can be achieved right now. Weights and dimensions should be looked at in a rational, evidenced based manner and not simply rejected because some campaigners do not like the sound of them.”

* Chancellor Philip Hammond should cut fuel duty by 3p a litre in his autumn budget, the Freight Transport Association says in its budget submission.

It argues that this would give a boost to the economy that would boost other tax receipts, so for the government would be “close to free”.

The FTA also wants to see equivalent cuts in rail freight and alternative road fuel duties, transforming the Apprenticeship Levy into a Skills Levy to allow more flexible to access the funding, and for continued support for rail and road infrastructure improvements.

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