The move comes on the back of the government’s decision to increase the speed limit for HGVs on single carriageway roads earlier this year.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “This decision runs against work to more effectively manage traffic speeds and reduce casualties and emissions on our roads. As with the decision to raise the HGV speed limit on single carriageways, the government is making a leap of faith in spite of the legitimate concerns of road safety groups. The government itself admits that, at best, there will be no economic or road safety benefit. At worst, it risks increasing deaths and serious injuries on our roads if the largest vehicles are allowed to reach higher speeds more often. The relationship between increased speed and increased casualties is a proven one, so why take the risk?
“Increasing the HGV speed limit on single and dual carriageways sets a dangerous precedent, sending a message that if traffic laws are persistently flouted, the government would rather change them than get tough with the law-breaking drivers putting everyone at risk.”