Proposals published for simplified motorway speeds

New and older vehicles to have the same road rules.

The Department for Transport has published proposals to simplify motorway speed limits for buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

Differences between new vehicles, which are fitted with speed limiters, and older vehicles which are not have found the need for changes.

Newer HGVs are limited to 56 mph on the motorway whereas older vehicles are able to drive at up to 70 mph. Also, new passenger vehicles with over eight seats are limited to 62.5 mph on the motorway but older vehicles are able to drive at 70 mph.

The proposals put forward in the consultation include setting a 65 mph limit for all buses, minibuses and coaches with more than eight passenger seats and setting the motorway speed limit at 60 mph for all HGVs over 3.5 tonnes, both regardless of whether or not they are fitted with a speed limiting device.

Vehicles with speed limiters are also not allowed to use the right hand lane of three lane motorways but those without speed limiters currently are.

New proposals will prohibit all HGVs between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes and all buses, minibuses and coaches with more than eight passenger seats from using the right hand lane of motorways with three or more lanes.

The differences in rules for new and older vehicles can cause confusion for other drivers and create a disincentive for companies to invest in safer and more fuel efficient vehicles.

Road Safety Minister Paul Clark said: "We want to provide clarity for everybody - drivers, operators, other motorists and the police - as well as making sure that there is a level playing field for those operating in the bus, coach and road haulage industry."

Further information:
Department of Transport

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