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Department for transport to decide on longer trailers imminently

By: Joe Elvin
22 June 2011

The final day of discussions regarding proposals for longer trailers on British roads erupted into a passionate war of words yesterday.

Representatives from the department for transport (DfT) must now decide whether to change trailer length laws after hearing strong views both for and against the proposals from those in logistics work.

The Freight Transport Association was amongst those supporting the notion that maximum road trailer lengths should be extended to 18.75 metres.

In an interview with, chief economist Simon Chapman reinforced the body's views on the subject.

He said: "All the evidence from our members has reinforced the FTA's view that high-volume semi-trailers are good for the environment, and good for business.

"For high-volume, low-density loads, the extra deck space offers improved productivity and fewer vehicle journeys."

Chapman was responding, in part, to the views of shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle, who yesterday said she was "appalled" at the prospect of longer trailers on the roads.

According to, she pleaded with the DfT to publish its assessments of the impact that longer trailers would have on public safety and carbon emissions. It was also feared that longer trailers might have a negative long-term effect on rail freight, thus causing increased congestion on the roads.

The DfT is expected to announce its verdict within the next couple of days.

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