Fleet News

DfT seeks feedback from van operators

THE Government has pledged to listen to concerns from fleet van operators on speed limit regulations that are causing confusion within the industry and could see drivers breaking the law.

Current Highway Code regulations prohibit goods vehicles under 7.5 tonnes from travelling faster than 50mph on single carriageways and 60mph on dual carriageways. However, vans derived from cars and weighing less than two tonnes are exempt and have the same speed limits as cars.

This means vans under two tonnes that are not derived from cars have to travel slower than vans that are car-derived, even though they weigh virtually the same (Fleet NewsNews, July 28).

The rule can affect vans such as some Ford Transit Connects, the Citroen Berlingo and the Peugeot Partner, which were designed as vans from scratch.

Asked to clarify the situation, a DfT spokesman said the department would welcome feedback from fleet operators – although there are no plans to change the law.

He said: ‘Only vans which are constructed or adapted as a derivative of a passenger vehicle and which have a maximum laden weight not exceeding two tonnes are exempt from the speed limits for goods vehicles.

‘The DfT has no current plans to change these regulations but will listen with interest to feedback from van operators on this issue.’

One bemused van operator is Alan Phillips, company buyer for lift installer Morris Vermaport in Nottingham.

The company operates 48 vehicles, including 31 Vauxhall Combos and Citroen Berlingos, each covering an average of 25,000 miles per year.Responding to the DfT’s comments, Phillips said: ‘It just throws everything into total confusion.’

He added: ‘The Highway Code needs to be crystal clear and it’s not. I want to advise our drivers but I can’t. The law needs to be changed so people understand it.’ Fleet wanting to make their views known should write to David Briggs, Room 5/20, Department for Transport, Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6DT.

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