Authorised vehicles sign

A suggestion by new president of the Institute of Highway Engineers for the government to consider banning trucks from UK motorways on Sundays has been described as "out of touch" and "the last thing" the industry would want to see in the UK.

Richard Hayes, who will became president of the IHE this week, says he will be writing to the roads minister, Mike Penning, to ask the Department for Transport (DfT) to investigate the issue as part of its recently announced review of the strategic road network.

Hayes says restricting use of the road network on Sundays for LGVs is commonplace throughout the rest of Europe and something he "strongly believes we should consider introducing in the UK".

He explains: "Weekends should be a relaxing time on our roads when the network is used mainly by the general public going about their leisure activities.

"Surely it is not too much to ask that we take some of the tension out of the system for one day a week.”

However, James Hookham, MD, policy and communications at the FTA, says weekend restrictions on the continent are "the bane of international hauliers' lives".

He says: "Banning truck movements on Sundays would be hugely damaging to the economy and to consumers and force freight traffic into already congested Friday afternoon and evening periods."

Jack Semple, RHA policy director, adds: "I am surprised by the suggestion of a ban, which is out of touch with the needs of the UK economy, and by the tone of the comments."