9 November 2023
It has recently been confirmed that the end date for the Longer Semi-Trailer (LST) trial has been extended to 29 February 2024, having been previously set at 30 November this year,
The move has been welcomed by the Road Haulage Association (RHA) which has been campaigning for the change,
RHA Director of Policy and Public Affairs for England, Declan Pang, said: “We’ve been campaigning for some time for the Department for Transport (DfT) to reduce the bureaucracy on hauliers using longer semi-trailers to encourage uptake. We welcome this extra time to work with our members and Government on solutions, and for changes to the guidance to reduce onerous administration.”
Encouraging uptake of these vehicles is, he went on, good for the environment with fewer journeys and less congestion, so it does not make sense to discourage their use.
“Safety is our number one priority and we’ve had years of rigorous trials which have proven that LSTs are safe to be on our roads,” Mr Pang continued.
Following the LST guidance published in May, the RHA has been urging the DfT to reduce the requirements for route plans and risk assessments that were due to come in from 30 November despite not being required during the 12-year LST trial.
It said that some of its members were particularly concerned about the added pressure on drivers and transport planners and the significant additional time spent on completing paperwork for each trailer.
There are options being considered by some operators including tracking providers and driver apps to link a pick-up location with a route plan and risk assessment to facilitate a simpler solution, but the RHA warned that this will not be ready in time for 30 November.