The government may introduce longer and heavier vehicles in a bid to cut emissions.
This announcement follows a nine-year trial of the longer-semi trailers (LSTs) – which can be up to 15.65 metres in length.
According to the Department for Transport, the trial saw a reduction in the number of lorries making journeys across the country, with an average 8% reduction in miles and a 6.3% reduction in pollution.
The trial also found that using LSTs reduced the number of road traffic collisions, resulting from fewer journeys being made.
Overall it is estimated that the full rollout of LSTs could remove up to 1 in 8 freight journeys.
The Department for Transport will now consider these results but have said that these vehicles could be rolled out ‘sometime in 2022.’
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘This Government is committed to fighting climate change and decarbonising our transport network, and we are working at pace to achieve net-zero by 2050.
‘Today’s announcement is a vital step forwards as we work to introduce more environmentally-friendly freight to our roads and build back greener.’
The government has also announced the launch of a separate trial using heavier-than-normal 48-tonne lorries.
Currently, the maximum weight of a lorry makes it difficult for them to carry heavier goods to rail depots, meaning goods are dispersed between more lorries and taken to their final destination.
The trial would ensure these heavier lorries are only used on specific routes and would limit their use to a maximum journey length.
Photo by Christian Chen