Longer lorries pose ‘significant road safety threat’, campaigners warn

New longer lorries pose a ‘significant road safety threat’ and should be restricted, the Campaign for Better Transport has warned.

The Campaign for Better Transport teamed up with the Local Government Technical Advisers Group (TAG) to collect data during a demonstration of a new 18.55m lorry by the Department for Transport. According to the two organisations, this analysis found that these longer lorries would have almost double the tail swing of a normal lorry when completing a standard left hand turn at an urban junction.

They are warning that this increased tail swing poses a significant threat to other motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. As a result of this, both organisations are calling for longer HGVs to be restricted to local authority designated routes within urban areas to reduce risks to other road users, as well as protect pavements and property from expensive damage.

Philippa Edmunds, Campaign for Better Transport, said: “Government officials are ignoring the real dangers of these longer trucks manoeuvring on urban roads. These longer trucks will become the new standard trucks operating on all roads, regardless of the dangers to other road users. We want to see the government limit their use to designated local authority routes that have been rigorously assessed by appropriate modelling software to ensure that no part of the lorry would pass outside its traffic lane when turning. Importantly this analysis should be funded by the haulage operators who benefit from longer trucks, not the local authorities who are forced to accommodate them.”

Martin Sachs, honorary secretary of the National Transport Committee of TAG, said: ”There is already a significant problem with lorries causing damage to pavements, street furniture and parked cars, not to mention the danger to other road users and pedestrians. Our analysis shows that these new longer lorries have increased driver blind spots and almost double the rear tail swing of a normal full length articulated lorry, which makes negotiating tight turns even more difficult. Towns and cities are no place for these mega trucks, many junctions simply can’t accommodate these vehicles forcing them to mount kerbs, traffic islands or enter adjacent lanes when turning putting other road users in danger.”