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FTA calls on manufacturers to manage van top speeds

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The Freight Transport Association’s Van Excellence Governance Group stands united in its decision to appeal to van manufacturers to supply vehicles with a speed limiter set at 70 miles per hour as a no-cost option.

Following a recent meeting of the group, it was unanimously agreed that, despite recent press reports trailing Government plans to increase motorway speed limits to 80mph, manufacturers should be called upon to help play their part in managing van top speeds and to continue to restrict their vans to 70mph.

It was felt by the group that aside from the legal implications, restricting van top speeds would also see significant fuel economy benefits.

There are many other demonstrable benefits to be had by limiting vehicle speed. Repair and maintenance bills are often reduced and lowered driver stress levels are frequently cited as an unexpected bonus.

Gary Whittam, chairman, said: “We find it impossible to justify why any conscientious van operator would allow its vans to operate above the national speed limit.

“Simply put, a van travelling at 80mph will be using significantly more fuel than one at 70. You don’t need a calculator to work out that at over £7 per gallon, that’s just burning money.

“Without exception manufacturers can easily limit the top speed of their vans. So the question is, why don’t they make limitation the default standard or at the very least a no-cost option?”

Operators reported very little detriment to their journey times and as Rory Morgan, GM National Logistics at Iron Mountain said: “How can any business depend on drivers breaking the law to meet schedules? In these days of corporate responsibility it’s just not acceptable.”

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