Laura Sandys says that “We need to take action to stop the Government allowing 60 and 84 tonne lorries on to Britain's roads. The current limit is 44 tonnes. There is an Early Day Motion that has been placed in Parliament to urge the Government to reject these Super Trucks.
“We all know that Thanet roads, and the villages of Wingham and Ash already suffer from the pollution, the noise and the road degradation caused by the existing 44 tonne lorries that come over from Europe. Dr Stephen Ladyman is considering allowing almost double that size of Super Truck to be used on our congested roads in East Kent.” States Laura.
The Department for Transport is currently reviewing whether to allow trials of super trucks, known as LHVs:
* They range from 83ft to 100ft long with weights of 60 to 84 tonnes.
* The 60-tonne 83ft super truck is the same weight of a Challenger tank and the length of a 25-metre Olympic swimming pool.
* The 84-tonne truck would be twice the weight and almost twice the length of existing heavy lorries.
“I am very concerned about questions over the safety, environmental and social costs these vehicles would impose on our communities. The impact of super trucks if they are involved in an accident will be proportionately greater because of their extra weight, with severe implications on braking distances, manoeuvrability, possible jack-knifing and overtaking complications.
“We are already suffering from massive congestion in Thanet and with 40 tonne trucks rushing through Wingham and Shattlington. We cannot allow our environment, our safety and our ability to travel to be further impeded by these massive trucks. “ says Laura.
The promoters claim these vehicles will be restricted to motorways, dual carriageways and major roads, but there is no mechanism available to keep them to this, and the type of road has not been fully clarified.
The reality is that these vehicles will need local access to distribution hubs which would not be on motorways/dual carriageways, but on roads which are totally unsuited to vehicles of this scale. When the limit was raised to 44 tonnes similar restrictions were not enforced.
Facts and Figures:
In 2005 in accidents involving HGVs - ROSPA 2006 6 people were killed, 65 seriously injured and overall 750 injured on urban roads 49 people were killed, 275 seriously injured and overall 2092 injured in rural areas 24 people were killed, 118 seriously injured and overall 595 people injured on motorways.