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Longer and Heavier Goods Vehicles

The Secretary of State for Transport (Ruth Kelly): The Transport Research Laboratory has today published a report, commissioned by my Department, on the subject of longer and heavier goods vehicles (LHVs). The report highlights a number of issues that make the implementation of large 25.25 metre LHVs—sometimes referred to as “super-lorries”—impractical either on a permanent or trial basis. I will therefore not be allowing them on UK roads for the foreseeable future.

The following issues highlighted in the report have been influential in arriving at my decision:

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The report does show, however, that there could be worthwhile benefits from permitting a modest increase in the length of current articulated vehicles. The Department will consider these further in the context of its on-going strategic work on freight, on which I expect to publish a summary of progress this summer.

The report will help inform member states and the European Commission who are reviewing the rules on lorry sizes as part of the logistics action plan to improve the efficiency of transport and logistics in the European Union.

Copies of the report have been placed in the Libraries of the House and can also be viewed at

Railway Heritage Committee

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. Tom Harris): I have today launched a public consultation on proposals to extend the scope
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of the Railway Heritage Committee. The public consultation, which will run until 5 September 2008, identifies three options to enable the Committee to extend its scope to railway related bodies that were overlooked or not in existence at the time of the original legislation. These options are:

From previous discussions between the Committee and railway bodies, and a response to an informal questionnaire in March, there is a need for such bodies to be brought into the scope of the Committee to enable it to fully meet its statutory obligations.

The consultation also seeks to update its membership to enable it to appoint an archivist. Current legislation restricts the Department’s ability to attract suitable candidates and appoint members who do not meet the existing requirements of the Public Records Act 1958.

Copies of the consultation have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

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