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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 September 2005, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
Road trains proposed for Britain
Road train
Road trains are already used on Australian roads
Super lorries weighing up to 60 tons could be operating on Britain's roads under a proposal being considered by the government.

Lincoln-based Denby Transport has submitted an application for the "road trains" to the Department of Transport.

The scheme has received support from the Road Haulage Association (RHA) which believes road trains make commercial and environmental sense.

The current limit for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) is 44 tons.

But environmental group Transport 2000, which has called for more freight to be taken by rail, said road trains would eventually drive through villages and town centres.

Industry efficiency

Denby Transport has submitted an application for the 60 ton Denby Eco Link lorry, which is divided into two trailers and is 83ft long. The maximum for HGVs at present is 62ft.

A report on the scheme is also being drawn up for Transport Minister Dr Stephen Ladyman.

The RHA said the lorry would only travel on motorways between regional distribution centres.

"There are 428,000 trucks registered and if we could reduce that number to have one truck for every two - we're all for it.

"The whole industry wants to run efficiently, it would make commercial and environmental sense," a spokesman said.

Stephen Joseph, director of Transport 2000, said road trains "have no place on Britain's country lanes and town centres".

"Although the application has said they will be confined to motorways between distribution depots we've heard this before about lorries," he said.

"In practice we've ended up with very large juggernauts going down country lanes and roads built for a horse and cart.

"The public want to see more freight by rail, not on the roads."

A Department of Transport spokesman said Dr Ladyman would be considering the application, but there was no deadline for making a decision.

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