Longer and heavier freight lorries could be allowed on the roads soon to help improve efficiency and cut emissions on the UK road network.
The Department of Transport (DfT) has launched a consultation on its proposals to give permission for heavier lorries to be allowed on the network to carry more goods, cutting down on the number of journeys needed on the network.
At the moment the maximum weight allowed on teh roads is 44 tonnes and the new plans would see this increase by four tonnes with trailer lengths would be extended by two metres.
The consultation document says: “Some organisations have identified that allowing 6-axle articulated lorries to be operated at 48 tonnes during domestic intermodal journeys would improve efficiency and support rail freight.
“This could be permitted for repetitive container loads that travel along a set route. Increasing the load capacity for each lorry involved could reduce the number of lorry movements to service each train, with the operations liable to happen frequently, feeding into scheduled trains operating on one or more days a week.”
A rise in population growth and demand for online shopping has led to significant increase in lorry traffic.
The DfT said that the longer trailers would be able to carry two more rows of pallets or at least three rows of supermarket goods cages on each journey, if permission was granted.