Supersized lorries could pose a risk to motorcyclists & other road users

Safety experts are warning that new 61ft lorries could pose a risk to motorcyclists when they hit the roads later this month

Supersized lorries could pose a risk to motorcyclists & other road users

NEW legislation has been passed in the UK to allow so-called ‘super lorries’ onto the UK’s road network. May 31st 2023 will be the date that the new longer lorries can begin hitting the roads.

The new trucks are up to 61ft (18.55m) long, more than 2m (6ft 9in) longer than the longest standard trucks already on the road. While the benefits of the new trucks are obvious - more space means more loads carried and therefore more efficient logistics - safety campaigners are warning they could pose a risk to vulnerable road users including motorcyclists.

If you have ever been caught up alongside an articulated lorry at a roundabout, you’ll know how much of a bum-clenching moment it is, as the trailer of the vehicle snakes into your lane as it negotiates the turn. No matter how clearly you can see the driver’s face in the rearview mirror of the cab’, there is always that worrying thought that the driver might not have spotted you as you patiently await your fate. More often than not they have spotted you, although there are occasions when this doesn’t happen, and the result is a written-off motorcycle and quite possibly injury to the rider.

It’s situations like this that are being highlighted by safety campaigners, although there is another issue with the super-sized rigs. While the building of more smart motorways has been canned, we are now stuck with hundreds of miles of the roads in the UK, most without a full-time hard shoulder which has been replaced by emergency refuge areas. These supposed safe spaces are around 100m in length, meaning a truck with a blown-out tyre will be taking up almost all of the available space and leaving little to no room for another car or motorcycle rider. Should you have a terminal engine or electrical problem with your bike, how are you supposed to make it to the next refuge in a safe manner?

The thinking behind the trucks is, predictably, revenue. The Mail Online reports that one super truck could remove a standard-sized one from the road after every twelfth load carried, something the government thinks is worth £7 billion in around five years.

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