Longer Semi-Trailer Trial

GB Longer Semi-trailer Trial (LST): Latest evaluation report and industry insights published by Department for Transport (DfT) as they launch consultation on the future of LSTs.

For the past 8 years, Risk Solutions, in partnership with @WSP_UK, have been the independent evaluators for the DfT’s GB trial of LSTs.  These vehicles are up to 2m longer than standard UK articulated HGVs and so allow more goods to be transported at once, allowing operators to reduce the number of lorries on the road for the same total quantity of cargo.  This efficiency is further enhanced by a number of operators utilising double deck trailers.

The trial is designed to evaluate whether, when put into a real-world operation, these trailers:

  • Are operated efficiently, giving real savings in journeys and emissions?
  • Can be operated as safely (or better) than the standard trailers they replace?

The ongoing LST trial now involves around 2,600 LSTs. Up to the end of 2019 the trial results indicated that:

  • on average, the use of LSTs reduced journey numbers by 1 in 12, with more than 54 million vehicle kilometres saved
  • 48,000 tonnes of CO2(e) and 241 tonnes of NOx have been saved
  • on a per kilometre basis LSTs have been involved in about 53% fewer personal injury collisions and casualties than the GB articulated heavy goods vehicle (HGV) average

In November 2019, DfT published a series of documents produced by Risk Solutions

The DfT believes the trial has reached a point where continuing is unlikely to provide further useful results and that remaining issues, relating to the safety, can only be answered outside of trial settings.   So, in parallel with the evaluation reports, the department has launched a public consultation asking if they should end the existing longer semi-trailer (LST) trial, originally due to run until 2027, and move ahead with one of several potential future operational options with differing levels of regulation.

The consultation documents along with the DfT Impact Assessment of the trial to date are available on the DFT website.  Responses to the consultation is open for submission until 1 February 2021.

Risk Solutions continues to support the Department in the role of independent evaluation consultants.  Data gathering and analysis will continue until the DfT makes a final decision on the future of LSTs.

Further information:

The annual reports from every year of the trial can be found on the Department for Transport’s website at www.gov.uk/government/collections/longer-semi-trailer-trial#progress-reports.

Trial participants can send any enquiries related to the data collection aspects of the trial to Risk Solutions on 01925 413984 or at LSTTrial@risksol.co.uk

Any enquiries not related to the data collection or analysis should be addressed directly to:
Philip Martin
Head of Freight Policy, Freight, Operator Licensing and Roadworthiness Branch


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