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Bank holiday Monday may bring quicker journeys for drivers, says AA

From Monday 6 April, speed limits for HGVs (goods vehicles weighing more than 7.5 tonnes) increase by 10mph, from 50 to 60mph on dual carriageways and from 40 to 50mph on single carriageway roads.

Motorway limits for HGVs remain unchanged at 60mph.

The Government’s raising of the speed limit to improve business efficiency is forecast to have little impact on dual carriageways but is likely to raise average HGV speeds by up to 5mph on single carriageway A-roads.

Other predicted benefits include less ‘platooning’ of cars and other vehicles behind HGVs, less frustration among drivers behind which may lead to risky and ill-judged overtaking, and reduced toxic emissions (NOx) from HGVs (although faster-moving cars may generate more CO2 than currently).

However, drivers gauging whether or not to overtake an HGV must now consider the possibility that the lorry may be travelling at close to the new 50mph limit on straighter open single carriageway roads.

Edmund King, the AA’s president, said: “For drivers who are confident enough and used to passing HGVs on single carriage roads, they may have to lower their overtaking expectations or adapt their ‘roadcraft’ in anticipation of big lorries going faster on the straighter stretches of road.”

“Drivers pulling caravans may worry that they will now find heavy lorries trailing them, although government analysis suggests that they will still have the edge on average HGV speeds.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.