Lorries to be banned from overtaking?

Lorries could be banned from overtaking in a trial on the M42 next year. The Highways Agency is hoping to set up a scheme on the West Midlands motorway that forces lorries to stay in one lane. While the idea is still in the consultation phase, if it gets the green light it could start early in 2005. if successful, it could be extended to other motorways.

The idea is to avoid the problem of one lorry overtakes the other with a miniscule speed differential, thereby blocking the motorway for miles. One a two-lane road, this means empty tarmac stretches for miles in front of the snail's pace manoeuvre. A similar scheme in the Netherlands helped increase road capacity for four per cent.

Freight operators, in the form of the Freight Transport Association (FTA), were less enthusiastic than PistonHeads readers are likely to be. FTA freight manager Colin Hagan told the Times: "This will set an alarming precedent and we are concerned that all heavy goods vehicles could be forced to travel in the same lane at the speed of the slowest."

The FTA's solution is to allow hard shoulder running, although RAC spokesperson Susie Haywood commented that hard shoulder running was "too simplistic". Supporting the M42 scheme, she said, "Motorists will certainly welcome the trial, which is not about penalising lorries but is trying to deal sensibly with a specific, limited stretch of heavily congested two-lane motorway."

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  • jerrycs 06 Dec 2004

    About bloody time too!

  • craigrevell 06 Dec 2004

    i think that this a great idea, but i still think that they need to punish the car driving idiots that drive at 45mph on motorways, which means the lorries have to overtake!!! They should have a minimum speed of 56mph, unless the weather becomes an issue

  • woof 06 Dec 2004

    [quote=craigrevell]i think that this a great idea, but i still think that they need to punish the car driving idiots that drive at 45mph on motorways, which means the lorries have to overtake!!! They should have a minimum speed of 56mph, unless the weather becomes an issue[/quote

    ditto - about bloody time - obvious as f**k to anyone who drives on a motorway that trucks overtaking causes huge tailbacks ! had all 3 lanes blocked the other day on the M1

    Also a minimun speed should be implemented unless conditions dictate otherwise

  • tight fart 06 Dec 2004

    Great idea, I once spent 12 miles stuck behind 2 lorries on the M6 while towing, mind you I did call the 0800 how am I driving number.

  • radar-shy ted 06 Dec 2004

    Definitely a good idea but ...........

    (a) does it go far enough? What about caravans as well? They're just as big a menace and with the inside lanes for lorries, will we have a summer of just middle lanes for caravans?

    (b) will the ban be 'policed'? The M5 caravan experiment this year certainly wasn't as far as I could see as caravan owners still went wherever they wished. No monitoring will ultimately adversely affect the results

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