Trials show benefits of longer semi-trailers, says FTA

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Trials are showing that longer semi-trailers pose no greater safety risk than normal and are valuable in reducing HGV miles and making carbon savings, the Freight Transport Association says.

Andy Mair, FTA’s head of engineering, said figures just released by the Department for Transport showed that these trailers were being operated safely and responsibly. The trailers are up to 2.05m longer than standard 13.6m units.

“FTA is a supporter of the use of longer semi-trailers as they provide significant environmental and efficiency benefits,” said Mair. “The report clearly demonstrates that operators in the trial are making significant efficiency improvements, reducing HGV miles and demonstrating carbon savings using longer semi-trailers on freight operations which are suited to their use.”

The trial was launched in 2012, permitting up to 1,800 trailers in two length categories (up to 14.6m and up to 15.65m). On average, the report says operators are saving one journey in 22 as a result of using LSTs. Between 4.2 and 5.2 million vehicle kilometres have been saved from the operation of LSTs since 2012.

DfT wants to involve more participants in the trial by the end of 2015 so the full allocation of 1,800 trailers is taken up.

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