UK to trial HGV intermodal weight limit of 48 tonnes


The UK Transport Department (DfT) aims to trial HGV intermodal weight limit of 48 tonnes

The DfT’s consultation on a trial exploring an increase in capacity on intermodal freight initiative has been welcomed by the Road Haulage Association (RHA).

The maximum payload on HGVs carrying intermodal freight could be increased from 44 to 48 tonnes to bring intermodal freight movements by rail into line with road-only freight if a trial is successful.

Intermodal freight movements have lower payloads due to extra weight of rail containers and specialised trailers. But officials are consulting on a possible trial in a move the RHA has long called for, that would reduce operating costs for firms moving goods by combined road and rail.

RHA Chief Executive, Richard Burnett said: “Safely increasing the trucks’ payloads makes perfect sense as it would mean fewer journeys, therefore making the supply chain more efficient and cost-effective.

“We’re delighted the DfT has listened and wants to work with our industry to see if we can make it happen.”

Officials are consulting on how a trial might be implemented and evaluated.

Heavier intermodal freight trial consultation closes on Monday 4 January.

Meanwhile, the DfT is consulting on ending an existing longer semi-trailer trial (LST) early. The trial which started in 2012 is testing the theory that the use of LSTs should lead to journey reductions.

Although planned to run until 2027, officials are proposing to call time on the trial as they believe it’s reached a point where continuing is unlikely to provide useful results and that remaining issues, relating to the safety, can only be answered outside of trial settings.

LST trial consultation closes on 1 February.