Department for Transport
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Simplification of speed limit rules for buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles
Proposals to simplify motorway speed limits for buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) were published today by the Department for Transport.
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. Similarly, new passenger vehicles with over eight seats are limited to 62.5 mph on the motorway but older vehicles are able to drive at 70 mph.
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 a 65 mph 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;
- Setting the motorway speed limit at 60 mph for all HGVs over 3.5 tonnes 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 said:
"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.
"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."
Notes to Editors
1. The consultation can be found here:
2. The Consultation will close on Tuesday 27 April 2010.
3. A summary of current and proposed HGV and PCV speed limits is shown in the table below. This also shows the technical speed restriction which is built into most modern vehicles:
To see the table attached please go to the following link:
4. In addition to minibuses, buses and coaches, the reduced 65 mph speed limit for these vehicles would also apply to motor-caravans and dual-purpose vehicles (not drawing a trailer) which have an unladen weight exceeding 3.05 tonnes or which are adapted to carry more than 8 passengers.
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