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New Renault Master

Latest Master will be affected by new speed regs

DfT proposes universal motorway speed limits for HGVs

THE Department for Transport (DfT) is proposing to simplify the speed limits for heavy goods vehicles, including vans over 3.5 tonnes.

The DfT says the changes are needed because of differences that have arisen between new vehicles, which are fitted with speed limiters, and older vehicles which are not. This means that while newer HGVs are limited to 56mph older vehicles are able to drive at up to 70 mph on the motorway.

The legislation will also apply to coaches and mini buses where new passenger vehicles with over eight seats are limited to 62.5mph on the motorway but older vehicles are able to drive at 70mph.

This can cause confusion for other drivers and creates a disincentive for companies to invest in safer and more fuel efficient vehicles. In addition, vehicles with speed limiters are not allowed to use the right hand lane of three lane motorways but those without speed limiters currently are.

The proposals put forward in today’s consultation include:

  • Setting the motorway speed limit at 60mph for all HGVs over 3.5 tonnes regardless of whether or not they are fitted with a speed limiting device;
  • Setting a 65mph limit for all buses, minibuses and coaches with more than eight passenger seats regardless of whether or not they are fitted with a speed limiting device;
  • Prohibiting all HGVs between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes and all buses, minibuses and coaches with more than eight passenger seats from using the right hand lane of motorways with three or more lanes.

Road Safety Minister Paul Clark commented: “We want to provide clarity for everybody – drivers, operators, other motorists and the police – as well as making sure that there is a level playing field for those operating in the bus, coach and road haulage industry.”

Mr Clark added: “These proposals simplify motorway speed limits for buses, coaches and lorries so that everyone has to abide by the same rules regardless of the age of their vehicle.”

Current and proposed speed limits

  • HGVs 3.5 to 7.5t
  • 70mph (current motorway limit);
  • 56mph (speed limiter setting);
  • 60mph proposed limit
  • HGVs more than 7.5t
  • 60mph (current motorway limit);
  • 56mph (speed limiter setting);
  • 60mph proposed limit (no change)

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