Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Lorry speeds on Hampshire's roads

Recently my attention was drawn to a Department for Transport consultation on increasing the speed limit for HGVs on single carriage roads from 40 mph to 45 or 50 mph.

I'm pleased to tell you that I have submitted a response, which is that: whilst I understand and support any measures designed to boost the economy, the effects of such proposed measures on the environment and on road safety should be evaluated and given fair weight before any decision is made. If any such proposed measure would likely increase the immediate danger to the lives of others road users, then it should be rejected.

In a bbc news article, Roads minister Stephen Hammond said that consultation on the change will run until 1 February.

Mr Hammond said the government was "committed to doing everything it can to improve conditions for economic growth", but added: "I want to make sure we have carefully considered the evidence of all of the effects on the economy, environment and - of course - road safety before we make a decision. I welcome views from all."

In the article, differing views from experts are given:

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: "We welcome the consultation on new speed limits for lorries.
"On many long-distance rural roads, platooning behind lorries who are sticking to the limit is often blamed for causing frustration and dangerous overtaking."

But Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of road safety charity Brake, said: "We are very concerned about these proposals.
"There is a clearly evidenced, direct link between traffic speed and the number of devastating crashes and casualties on our roads."

I encourage everyone, who has a view to respond to the consultation at https://consultation.dft.gov.uk/dft/http-www-dft-gov-uk-consultations-dft-2012-34

Tom Thacker
Hampshire County Councillor, Whitchurch and Clere Division
E-mail:  tom.thacker@hants.gov.uk