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Reminder - HGV speed limit changes in England and Wales

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A row of lorries

From 6 April 2015, the speed limit for HGVs travelling on single and dual carriageways in England and Wales will be increased.

Following consultation and announcements made last year, the national speed limits for HGVs over 7.5 tonnes, travelling on a single carriageway will increase from 40mph to 50mph. The speed limit for HGVs over 7.5 tonnes, travelling on dual carriageways will increase from 50mph to 60mph.

The limits in Scotland are staying the same. European speed limiter requirements also remain unchanged and must be set at 56mph or lower.

The introduction of the new speed limits will better reflect the need for a modern transport network.

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  1. Comment by Don Cowan posted on

    England and Wales do not scrap laws, only ammend them, so the 60mph has never been taken off the books but 56mph has been added, strange but true

  2. Comment by Phil posted on

    Sorry, I meant 56mph

  3. Comment by Phil posted on

    Seems crazy to lift speed limit to sixty on duel carriageways and motorways but kept at 56km by limiter, What is that all about?

  4. Comment by Chris D posted on

    Hopefully, when the new speed limits come in, I can get up that hill when I start the attack at fifty instead of only getting half-way up before having to start changing down because I started at the bottom doing forty. If it's safe to do so of course.

  5. Comment by Spud taylor posted on

    I drive a truck for a living,the increase in speed is a welcome one,but I will still be doing 40 on A roads until the 6th of April because I value my licence and prefer to keep it clean,!!!! No penalty points for speeding,,!!!!!

  6. Comment by Keith Wilton posted on

    The reason it is a 60 mph limit and limiters are set at 56 mph is EU law for commercial vehicles. There are some lorries that aren't limited but are subject to the law the same as everyone else. Fire Brigade for instance normally they can drive up to 60 mph, when on an emergency they go slightly faster. They have other restrictions and are tracked by the way.
    There are other vehicles too that are not under EU Regs.

  7. Comment by Dan B posted on

    It will be so much less frustrating stuck behind a lorry at 50mph? I think you'll find all this will do is make the overtaking maneuvers more dangerous.

  8. Comment by Hgv driver tam posted on

    Its time Scotland moved into the real world .travel up a1 at 50 and you get to Berwick you have to go back to 40 .whats that all about rant over.

  9. Comment by mike posted on

    As a car driver/van driver and a driver of multiple makes of cars etc during my work.If I get stuck behind any vehicle in a long queue of traffic I just take the sensible option and take a break for a few minutes and restart my travels on an empty road and then have a much better drive.I may lose a few minutes time but I have a better drive and leave the frustration to the fools in front of me.

  10. Comment by the boss posted on

    limiters are only there to reduce air pollution and save the haulage company fuel costs

  11. Comment by Rex posted on

    All this will do is give transport managers a reason to put more work on your day or expect drivers to get back and finish earlier to save wages, and some drivers will be doing this because they think its clever!

  12. Comment by Chill Chill posted on

    As a LGV driver this will increase accidents on A roads ,this only encourages other drivers to overtake trucks much faster than befor thus increasing the danger at higher speed .The company I work for monitor our speed all the time and I find the dangerous overtaking is from our fellow truck drivers racing too or from the ferry .

  13. Comment by Johnmac posted on

    Just got nicked last week for doing 47 in a 40 zone on A5 North wales , I've sent it back,wonder if I will get three points and a fine,just a couple of weeks short of the change of the law,I probably will get fined and points cos it's all about making money

  14. Comment by reubs posted on

    Lol, there are advantages and disadvantages of increasing the speed limit, one advantage is that it should reduce the risky/frustrated overtaking maneuvers that are all too common place on most of our single carriageway roads. One disadvantage is that us wagon drivers will probably now get an extra drop to do as A to B is now slightly quicker!!
    One thing we should all take care with is that Scotland have not taken on this change, so be careful when crossing the northern border!

  15. Comment by David P posted on

    Pcv vechicles can travel at 50 mph on single carriage roads . You don't seem to hear about a lot of accidents there. It's really time to update these ancient laws that was introduced in the 60's . I hold both pcv and a class one licence and feel when I was driving a truck at 40 mph people would do the craziest manoeuvres to get past at 50 mph in a bus you'd still get the odd one doing something crazy to get past .. personally I don't think it's a bad idea. Time will tell though.

  16. Comment by trever posted on

    I've been a truck driver since 1969 and a lot of drivers drove at 50 on single a roads then and now if a driver had 15 drops to do at 40 mph he would never get them done in the time allocated especially when some are timed deliveries nothing will change just the risk of getting a fine will ease

  17. Comment by Ian posted on

    Where can we see this written so we know its legal, as generally the highway code shows legal speed limits for types of vehciles, cos it will still send a shiver down my spine doing 50mph past a speed camera, not knowing if it has been updated along with the law, and waiting for the hassle of getting a speed ticket

  18. Comment by Paul posted on

    It's a limit not a target !

  19. Comment by Nick.FL posted on

    As an ex-pat Brit living in the USA and as a truck driver, split speed limits do not work. Many US states have now removed lower speed limits for trucks, this has resulted in safer travel, better flowing traffic and reduced congestion and frustration. All vehicles should be permitted to travel at the same maximum speed.

  20. Comment by craig posted on

    That's a small step towards common sense, now when are you going to increase the archaic 70mph limit for cars that weren't designed in the 70's & 80's to reflect modern safety advancements?

  21. Comment by Kurt posted on

    Can't see what the issue is. Yes the speed limits increasing, but at the end of the day, we drive at a sensible speed to road conditions and surrounding objects.

  22. Comment by Paul posted on

    It not just about trucks and the speed of them that needs to be addressed, i find it frustrating when i'm driving a truck and other road users( mainly cars/motorbikes) are not considerate. For example, yes by all means over take a truck but don't pull in right in front of them, give them space(100 metres?) as many are laden and take longer to stop. Or if a blow out happens controlling them is harder. Also weather and road conditions need to be taken into account. More education on car diving tests would help.

  23. Comment by tarmac jacko posted on

    O joy two trucks overtaking on a dual carriageway at 60 for half a mile instead of 56.Get rid of all limiters and the roads would run a lot better

    • Replies to tarmac jacko>

      Comment by Mick posted on

      Completely agree with jacko on that 56 MPH is ok on dual carriageways but not nearly enough on motorways.

  24. Comment by Bobb posted on

    As an ex trucker of many years before the 56 limiter and after You Drive To The Road Conditions NOT the maximum limit Simples!

  25. Comment by Jeff Robinson posted on

    This means car drivers will not be stuck behind hgv s on single carriageways doing 40mph ! For miles & miles

  26. Comment by Mac posted on

    If your payed by the hour or on a salary why do you want to go faster all you will end up doing is more work and be more stressed out at the end of the week.

    • Replies to Mac>

      Comment by The Boss posted on

      lets reduce the speed !!! deliveries will take longer, drivers will be payed more.
      Haulage companies will charge more,
      Food prices will increase and we'll all pay more !!!
      Fantastic to this stretched economy !!

  27. Comment by Paul Brooks posted on

    Speed limiters are set at 56 to allow for any overrun, particularly when going down hill. Also doing 50 on country roads is no different from what they do now even though the law says 40, but the lorries can only do what the roads dictate.

  28. Comment by Baz5806 posted on

    Currently if you drive from Alnwick to Berwick on the A1 at 40mph by the time you get to Berwick you'll have a mile of traffic behind you. This is a sensible move to reduce congestion in my opinion.

  29. Comment by Webby posted on

    They'll still take five miles to pass each other!!

  30. Comment by Tim posted on

    Great idea. Modern trucks are built safer and stronger with better braking technology. Long overdue if you ask me. Try sitting at 50 mph on the A14 for a few hours!

  31. Comment by Tony taylor posted on

    I totally agree, the closer u travel to there limits the least likely they will overtike

  32. Comment by Ken Harland posted on

    About time, I drive hgv's on all roads and in all conditions, the 40 mph limit was an antiquated law failing to take into account the vast improvement in the modern large vehicles engines and braking systems. These new limits need hgv drivers show there professional competence and prove the doubters wrong. Despite what has been said by some I have seen the most appalling overtaking manoeuvres on single carriageways whilst I was obeying the traffic laws by driving at 40 mph in the main by car and van drivers and yes a few hgv's putting the innocent drivers coming in the other direction in extreme danger. This update of the RTA will save lives.

  33. Comment by GT posted on

    Great move in my opinion. Will cut down on the suicidal overtaking attempts when stuck behind a super market lorry for miles on end on a single carriageway road at 40mph

    • Replies to GT>

      Comment by Chris keenan posted on

      Won't make a difference to supermarket trucks. If you notice they only do 48mph on motorways. And 38 on normal roads.

    • Replies to GT>

      Comment by dotty posted on

      I agree been driving for many many years and some supermarket contractor drivers must be monitored as they alway drive at the road limit fine but pulling at 40 mph most of the Way to Stranraer can be frustrating

  34. Comment by Big al posted on

    About time? Shame the roads aren't up to it! Some things never change! Ex hgv driver

  35. Comment by Kieron posted on

    The incresed speed limit will cause accidents!!!!!!!! What a load of RUBBISH, comments like this obversely never came from HGV drivers....there are risks of more accidents at the moment with the current speed limits, due to single country lanes where we're only aload to do 40MPH and cars and other lorrys over take us and the amount of head on collisions it's caused is unbelievable....! Being able to go 50MPH will keep the flow of traffic going and hopefully stop people from wanting to over take, also I would like to point out we're professional driver with a lot of training behind us so were more then confident in controlling the lorries at this speed...

  36. Comment by jeff stone posted on

    About time 40mph on a single carriageway other road users get so frustrated, Doing 50mph they may be less likely to overtake so should be safer for all road users .

  37. Comment by Colin G. posted on

    Colin G.
    We in the UK seem to comply with the European Commission rulings....but not all our european neighbours don't, I am touring through France and Spain in a motorhome at the moment normally doing a steady 60mph on appropriate roads and more often than not a 40 ton artics will overtake me quite easily and as said in a previous comment these guys leave our boys standing when they come to the UK....Get a grip GB more checks on these vehicles please....For safety's sake... (retired HGV/PSV driver).

  38. Comment by quinny posted on

    you can tell its all car drivers asking the questiions

  39. Comment by Gary posted on

    As a carefull LGV driver I think this will actually reduce accidents, As i have driven on the single carrigway at 40 between Oxford and Cheltenham. It just causes more idiots to try to overtake badly and more frustrated drivers.

    • Replies to Gary>

      Comment by Alan Burgoyne posted on

      The A420 oxford to Swindon is another example.

  40. Comment by rod robinson posted on

    it makes good sense on decent roads but a lot of our roads are not fit for purpose and a lot of younger drivers see it as a target and will try do the speed everywhere and unscrupulous bosses will take advantage and try get extra work out of the driver (nowt fresh there then ) . i can see a few more expensive trucks in the fields we get plenty now just hope they are alone and don't take other vehicles with them , Yes lift the limit but increase the penalties for dangerous driving

  41. Comment by confussed posted on

    if a speed limit is not a target why are the signs shaped like targets ?

  42. Comment by Mark Thompson posted on

    We can drive at 40 now but on some parts of the a 339 I only drive at 30 as that is what I think is safe for a artic at that point on the road. A at least we will get the option to do 50 when safe to do so.

  43. Comment by Darran matthews posted on

    Remember its a limit ...not a target safe

  44. Comment by Andy Rigby posted on

    About time to. This doesn't mean you have to drive at 50, that is the maximum speed.
    On bad and narrow roads I wouldn't expect them to drive at 50, but lot of A roads like the A47 and A17 it is perfectly safe and may even save lives as impatient car drivers will not be so desperate to pass at all costs.

  45. Comment by Brian O'Shea posted on

    The new speeds represent a limit NOT a target same as before, all these changes do is give professional drivers a little bit more scope in deciding what's safe and acceptable again much the same as before.

  46. Comment by Jim posted on

    I think it comes down to driver discretion here people, you drive to the accordingly to the road and conditions, and let's face it, when a lorry is sat at 40mph on a single carriageway road, car and van drivers often pull some pretty scary and dangerous manoeuvres to get past the slow moving lorry, where as if the lorry is doing 50mph then other motorists are less frustrated and less likely to overtake dangerously...

    • Replies to Jim>

      Comment by Nigel posted on

      Only sensible comment so far

    • Replies to Jim>

      Comment by jonboy posted on

      I agree. I've to overtake slow moving cars on A roads I don't like to but I've a job to do and the cars behind don't understand it's the vehicle in front of me and take over not realising they've to over take me and the car in front

    • Replies to Jim>

      Comment by John posted on

      At last, Someone has put the real reason for the speed increase,
      To enable the flow of al traffic to move at a reasonable speed without frustrating other drivers into crazy overtaking manouvres

  47. Comment by Tracy posted on

    Why on earth do you quote 60 mph when the speed limiter is set to 56 mph, you may as well say it as it is, dual carriageway from 50 mph to 56 mph. You make good politicians who talk the talk yet yield nothing in return. The trucks on our roads are quite capable of coping with the additional 4 mph on UK's carriageways, but we must adhere to the rulings of the European Commission. How often have our boys been left for dust by our European counter parts on our own roads, limited to 56 in your dreams.

  48. Comment by Nick posted on

    Just remember- A speed limit is not a target! Common sense and above all-Safety first!

  49. Comment by Roger posted on

    At least the Scots are showing some sense in the matter

  50. Comment by Alan calkeld posted on

    So trials were done on the a9 in scotland but yet no change to limit in Scotland what a joke

  51. Comment by John Cope posted on

    The introduction of the new speed limits will result in more accidents, injuries and deaths on our inadequate, over-crowded roads.
    Scotland and the EU have got more sense.
    Ex Fire Officer.

    • Replies to John Cope>

      Comment by John Bull posted on

      It is far more dangerous having cars constantly overtaking lorries travelling at 40 mph (when they can do 60) and the long line behind the lorry of car drivers who are lacking in experience or confidence or are just too old to over take.
      If you pause to think, it makes absolute sense to change this outdated law HGV's can stop in much shorter distances now days. As an ex firemen would of thought you might know that.

      • Replies to John Bull>

        Comment by Leslie Potter posted on

        I found out about this on a speed awareness course on Thursday

      • Replies to John Bull>

        Comment by D. Fleetney posted on

        As this applies o Domestic (UK only) you should find that it is only British registered vehicles that will be doing 60 mph where they are allowed to. That you have so little faith in British Drivers is appalling as I guess that 95% of HGV accidents you attended involved a non-UK registered vehicle.

    • Replies to John Cope>

      Comment by Nigel Buckle posted on

      I disagree at the moment when I do 40 on an A Road people get irritated and take risky overtakes by misjudging their cars ability at 50 they seem more content to sit behind. And actually most accidents are caused by peoples incorrect and poorly positioned driving rather than the speed of a truck. 32 years of HGV driving home and abroad with no accidents shows that correct procedure is by far the safest way.

  52. Comment by duncan posted on

    Which HGV driver drives at 40mph on A roads ? They already drive at 50 through our village. This change will just encourage them to drive at 60. How far does it take to stop 40 tons at 50mph?

    • Replies to duncan>

      Comment by John Bull posted on

      A lot less than it did when the law was last changed in the 1960's

      • Replies to John Bull>

        Comment by J potter posted on

        Think that was a good question , how long does it take to stop a 40 tonne truck
        Answer about 2 foot according to car drivers that cut us up on moterway slip roads !!!!
        As for the 60 mph debate and the 90kph /56mph limiters well just Drive accordingly and remember it's not mandatory to drive at 60mph it's the maximum speed limit, not the minimum !!!!!

    • Replies to duncan>

      Comment by George posted on

      I wish more people would think about that before they pull in front of us then decide to turn off, or pull out of side streets in front of us!

  53. Comment by another trucker posted on

    Speed limit set at 56 for British trucks when there's 50 percent more foreign trucks over here with no speed limiter fitted or not working just crazy if you ask me they fly past Ower trucks even on a roads rant over

    • Replies to another trucker>

      Comment by Angie posted on

      One reason for this is because of the amount of collisions caused by frustrated car drivers overtaking wagons that are doing 40. They are hoping to reduce frustration and collisions. Any responsible truck driver like myself will drive to the condition of the road and not do 50 down windy lanes.

      • Replies to Angie>

        Comment by Alan Burgoyne posted on

        Well said angie,quite agree with you.

      • Replies to Angie>

        Comment by Dave posted on

        Problem with the increase to 50mph is some car drivers will still take risks when overtaking and now it will take longer to execute that pass I personally believe I'll have to be more vigilant as in my opinion the 50mph limit posses a greater risk

  54. Comment by Andrew posted on

    Why have a 60mph limit when speed limiters are set to 56mph or lower

  55. Comment by stuart posted on

    What's the point of increasing the limit to 60 if the wagon is limited to 56

  56. Comment by Alan Olley posted on

    Stupid idea in places like Kent and Sussex where the roads are terrible , narrow and poorly maintained . OK in Linconshire where roads are wide and straight

  57. Comment by Malc Collins posted on

    why don't they put speed limit up to 65mph for mini coaches/ coaches

    • Replies to Malc Collins>

      Comment by Gary posted on

      Coaches should be set at 50mph full stop as they can kill more people than a truck can theres nat exp still doing 65 mph and going in the outta lane on a motorway when speed limit is 60mph for coaches allegedly

    • Replies to Malc Collins>

      Comment by chris m posted on

      Coaches should be set at 56 not 65 just look how many people are involved and they react just like a truck

  58. Comment by David posted on

    Bit silly putting limit upto 60 on a dual carriageway but leaving limiter on 56????

    • Replies to David>

      Comment by Trevot posted on

      Can't understand what your thoughts are is been like that on motorways 20+ years

  59. Comment by Simon posted on

    Crazy ..Trucks doing 55mph on country roads...

    • Replies to Simon>

      Comment by Bill C posted on

      As a truck driver I think there will be greater need for the use of common sense not all roads are safe enough to be driving at 50 mph, I feel the need for greater care and consideration for fellow road users

      • Replies to Bill C>

        Comment by Martin posted on

        Very well said Blll

      • Replies to Bill C>

        Comment by Stephen posted on

        The government must have come to there senses as being involved with the transport industry I can understand the need for the increase just can't understand why we allow as a proud country the consultation process was allowed to go on at the tax payers purse when it was already established if you drive over 56mph you will be prosecuted for a defective limiter.
        So the British goverment have a law in place that if followed as we should follow our laws we will be breaking the law but I must confess most country roads were death traps only for the lack of understand by the humble drivers of the motor car whomever have the lack of patience and don't realise the length of a articulated vehicle and space to make safe overtake is approximately 175ft and can take 23/30 seconds so maybe kow we can drive at reasonable mph less overtaking manovers

    • Replies to Simon>

      Comment by Dion Porteus posted on

      50mph is the MAXIMUM speed limit. This doesn't mean you have to do 50mph everywhere on every single carriageway. We're classed as professional drivers and we should know when and where it's safe for us to do 50mph and when we must drive slower and with more causion.

  60. Comment by Wayne Fletcher posted on

    Does this mean that UK vehicles will still have their speed limiter set to 85kph/56mph to meet
    European legislation and as a result will not be allowed to travel at 60mph on duel carriageways
    which is the new speed limit.

  61. Comment by bob posted on

    Sorry this does make sense. If the speed limit has gone up to 60mph on a dual carriageway why must the speed limiter still be set at 56mph?

    • Replies to bob>

      Comment by dave richardson posted on

      The anomaly of limiters being 56 and limits being 60 takes into account old trucks that would be uneconomical to attach the electronic equipment to limit, they were historically set at 60, as for the 50mph is too fast for lanes and country roads no matter what the limit is you drive to the road and conditions

  62. Comment by margaret posted on

    So you can do 60 mph on dual carriageways but the vehicle can only do 56,mph due to the limiter. !fair enough

    • Replies to margaret>

      Comment by Dave Fuller posted on

      It means that if you are coming down a hill you can only do 60, the limiter won't stop you from speeding down hill especially when loaded

      • Replies to Dave Fuller>

        Comment by gary chalker posted on

        That's what the brakes are for!!

    • Replies to margaret>

      Comment by jim kinghan posted on

      And where does Northern Ireland drivers come into this mess, not a word has been said. We are far enough behind the rest of the UK........... Time there was someone to make common sense.....The rest of the world is already laffing at us.

  63. Comment by Stephen Hayes posted on

    What idiot sets a speed limit of 60mph then sets speed limiters slower pointless