Highlands & Islands (Labour) MSP David Stewart has called on the Scottish Government to look again at the introduction of an increase in speed limit for HGV’s on single carriageways from 40mph to 50 mph.
The UK Government recently ran a consultation exercise in England and Wales into the effects of increasing the speed limit for HGV’s to 50mph on single carriageways, 60mph on dual carriageways and 70mph on motorways. The 30mph in built up areas will remain unchanged. This consultation ended on the 1st February 2013 and the results are awaited.
The issue was debated in the Scottish Parliament yesterday (Thursday 21st).
David Stewart said: “Having been a driver myself for over 40 years and a veteran of the A9 Inverness and Perth route in particular, I feel I am qualified to talk about this subject. Few issues have been raised so frequently by motorists as the issue of “the 40mph” limit for HGV’s.
“From all parts of the country, the message is the same: modern trucks are perfectly capable of doing 50mph safely and fuel-eff¬ciently on suitable A-roads and raising the limit would lead to greater road safety and a reduction in death and injury.
“Truck drivers have the unenviable duty of watching in their mirror long queues of increasingly frustrated drivers building up behind them – and, occasionally, making a dangerous manoeuvre as their patience comes to an end and the red mist comes down and clouds their judgement. Sometimes, this frustration ends in tragedy that many believe a higher speed limit would avoid.
He added: “The answer, I firmly believe, is therefore to give professional HGV drivers the latitude to drive at up to 50mph on single-carriageway roads where there is no restriction on motorists beyond the national speed limit and where it is safe to do so.”
Conor Mckenna an Inverness based HGV driver recently launched a campaign to increase the speed limit for HGV’s in Scotland. This campaign follows the consultation exercise South of the border.
David Stewart said his argument received a fair hearing by Members from all parties and he indicated he is hopeful that the Scottish Government will introduce the necessary change in the law soon.