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Longer trailers trialled

By: David Howells
11 October 2011

A ten year trial into the use of longer trailers is being set up by the Ministry on Transport, reports.

Following a consultation into ways of saving haulage firms, the government has outlines plans to introduce two new trailers, one reaching 14.6 metres and another at 15.65 metres. The trailers, which can take an extra 15 per cent more than their traditional counterparts, could reduce lorry miles in the uk by between 100 - 180 million each year. The extra 15 per cent equates to 40 32" TVs or 17,000 bottles of aspirin.

The lower lorry miles could also save 163,000 tonnes of CO2 and save £85 million in fuel costs.

Whilst participation in the trial is on a voluntary basis - and may require specific driver training - the government is welcoming as many applications as possible, inviting operators from all over the UK to take part in the programme. However, following the end of the trial, there is no guarantee that the longer trailers will be used and all risks present in taking on the new trailer lie with the firms who opt to do so.

Speaking to, transport minister Mike Penning explained: "Our baseline research shows that the ability to operate longer semi trailers would provide clear benefits to business and a spur to efficiency and growth.

"We expect the trial itself to offer a net present value of £33 million, largely due to the financial benefits operators could see over the ten year length of the trial (around £1,800 per vehicle per year). We would expect many of these benefits to flow through the consumer."

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