Twenty four hauliers are being given the chance to test drive the Denby Eco Link B-Double truck next week at RHA’s latest Ride and Drive day.

The invitation-only event, which will be held at Newark Showground on Tuesday 25 May, aims to not only demonstrate the 25.25m 60-tonne road train to interested hauliers but also show government ministers that there is sufficient industry interest to warrant a trial on Britain’s roads.

Denby Transport chairman Dick Denby has been lobbying the government for over 20 years. Hopes were raised in February this year that the DfT will issue a Section 44 permit to enable the vehicle to take to the road as a demonstrator ahead of a wider trial. This followed a survey, requested by DfT as evidence of industry appetite, which  revealed that 80% of participating hauliers wanted to adopt the vehicle.

Denby said this week that DfT officials had informed him his Section 44 licence application is currently with ministers.

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RHA key account manager Martin Dean, who is organising the demonstrator trial, said it had so far garnered strong support from the haulage industry, with 30 delegates already signed up from 24 major operators.

He added: “We hope this demonstration helps pave the way to the granting of a Section 44 licence and a meaningful trial of the vehicle on Britain’s roads.

“This technology can play an important part in helping the government reach its net zero targets. It has been tried and tested on Europe’s roads for years and unlike electric trucks and hydrogen fuelled trucks it is available right now.”

Dick Denby told motortransport.co.uk: “I am delighted with the level of interest that is being shown in the demonstrator event. In the year of [UN climate change conference] COP26 let’s hope the message will get through to government and that the chance for operators to be able to replace four trucks with three on the UK’s roads will become a reality.”

Dean said spaces at the event are filling up fast and urged any interested parties to send their company name, fleet size, guest name and email address to m.dean@rha.uk.net, showing a preference for either a morning or afternoon slot.