I have today (28 November 2014) announced that the government intends, following a public consultation, to increase the national speed limit for heavy goods vehicles of more than 7.5 tonnes on dual carriageway roads from 50 mph to 60 mph.
This complements the decision that the government has already announced to raise the national speed limit for HGVs over 7.5 tonnes on single carriageway roads, and is part of a wider package of associated measures that the government is bringing forward to continue to increase economic efficiency and remove outdated restrictions.
The national speed limit increase on dual carriageways will modernise an outdated regulation dating from the 1980s, better reflecting the capabilities of modern HGVs. It will help to free professional hauliers from unnecessary regulation.
The change will ensure that HGV speed limits are proportionate and better aligned with the limits for HGVs on motorways and single carriageways, and with other vehicles such as coaches and cars towing caravans. Our evidence indicates that actual average speeds are unlikely to change in response to the change in national speed limit. Our impact assessment, which has been scrutinised by independent experts, concludes that there is not expected to be an adverse effect on road safety, but we will be monitoring the impacts closely.
The speed limit increases for HGVs will be implemented via a change in the law to be put to Parliament during the next few months, with implementation scheduled for 6 April 2015. The existing limits continue to apply until the change has been put into effect. The amended speed limit will cover dual carriageway roads in England and Wales, unless specific lower local or urban speed limits are in effect.
The Department for Transport is publishing the summary of dual carriageway HGV speed limit consultation responses. The department is also publishing an impact assessment.
Copies of these documents will be placed in the libraries of both Houses.