Legislation changes aimed to make HGVs more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly come into force

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‘More environmentally friendly’ heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) are allowed on Britain’s roads, with new government regulations coming into effect today (14 February).

The new rules will allow haulage companies to choose vehicles with elongated cabs and aerodynamic features fitted on the back, which help reduce fuel consumption.

A 2013 study estimated that these aerodynamic improvements to HGVs could result in fuel savings of 7% to 15%.

Aerodynamic rear devices are flaps that are fitted on the back of trailers to reduce the vehicle’s aerodynamic drag without using up load space. They were previously not permitted for use on Great Britain’s roads under regulations that have been in place since 1986.

Phil Lloyd, Logistics UK’s Head of Engineering Policy, commented on the announcement: “Allowing the use of aerodynamic features and elongated cabs on HGVs is fantastic news for our transport sector, which is looking to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

“These features are vital in helping to reduce emissions and improve air quality and Logistics UK welcomes the design of elongated cabs that improve driver vision and provide drivers with much-needed additional comfort space.”

The Department for Transport has published good practice guidance on the use of aerodynamic rear devices on HGVs in urban and rural areas.

This follows separate legislation last year to allow greener, longer goods vehicles to be rolled out as the government responded to its consultation on longer-semi trailers reducing mileage, congestion and carbon emissions.