The latest report produced for the Department for Transport shows that LSTs can bring big benefits. With the trial now approaching the end of its fifth year and almost up to the target of 1,800 trailers, after 202 million kms travelled some 90,000 journeys have been saved.
As the DfT states, there is no evidence to date that the safety risk from LSTs is worse than that of normal HGV trailers – in fact, there may be evidence that they are performing better. The RHA says it supports continued road safety reporting for at least another 18 months.
“This report confirms the value of longer semi-trailers,” RHA Director of Policy Jack Semple said. “It also confirms the RHA’s prediction that there would be no great rush for the new lengths and that take-up would be gradual, with 15.65 metre trailers much the more popular length.
He added: “There are now 151 operators in the trial. But it is clear that both existing longer semi-trailer operators and other hauliers could make good use of more of these trailers, and the Government should release more permits to allow them to do so. It should allocate permits, as before, in a way that gives equal opportunity to smaller firms.
“Road haulage efficiency is vital to the economy and keeping the UK competitive. After the Brexit vote, there is an increased awareness that we should be embracing every opportunity for productive innovation, where it is safe to do so.”