So the longer semi-trailer trial is back (did it ever go away?).

And given the intelligent revisions that have been made, the DfT will be holding its collective breath, awaiting a surge in interest.


It may have just that to look forward too, according to research by the FTA. A poll of its members has found that there does appear to be pent up demand.

According to the FTA:

  • 78% of members would reapply for permits should any surplus reallocated.
  • 83% of respondents would apply for additional allocations (the majority 15.65m).
  • 88% of operators within the trial will not be giving up currently unused allocations.

However, Andy Mair, the FTA's head of engineering suggests that there are still practical issues to overcome for the trial to flourish. Customers may need to make changes to operating practices (or even premises) to accommodate the longer vehicles, for example.

"Also, operators are reporting some contracts could work well with longer semi-trailers if sufficient numbers were deployed, but due to the small numbers allocated to them, operationally it does not work."

This last point the announced revisions should hopefully tackle.