Mercedes-Benz Actros

Overtaking ban for lorries on M11 motorway

Mercedes-Benz ActrosHGVs are to be banned from overtaking on the M11 motorway, a move the Highways Agency says will ease congestion and improve journey times. 

The ban is set to come into force within the next 12 months, and follows a successful trial on certain two-lane uphill sections of the motorway.

Lorries are fitted with speed limiters, says the Highways Agency, which “remove the possibility of overtaking… (and) vehicles carrying extremely heavy loads can’t always maintain the speed of other road users”.

The SMMT’s commercial vehicle development manager Nigel Base is less sure about the overtaking ban, though. “This could be the thin end of a wedge that leads to hampering of deliveries and logistics.

“Drivers also need to be assured that the rule is fairly and sensibly applied in all situations.” He uses the example of slow-moving traffic joining the motorway.

Indeed, this very situation is a key reason why the Highways Agency rejected a similar HGV overtaking ban on the A12 recently.

Asset development manager Andy Jobling said: “Due to the frequency of junctions, we believe this would not provide an effective method of reducing congestion.”

What do you think about the overtaking ban for HGVs on the M11 – is it a great idea or, as the SMMT says, the thin end of a wedge’?

25 replies
  1. Shaun Fuller
    Shaun Fuller says:

    People will soon start complaining when the shelves are empty in shops. Just another dumb move by the car driving government. Don’t you think us llorry drivers have got enough rules and enforcements without this stupid idea

    Reply
    • Barry Knowles
      Barry Knowles says:

      Shelves will be empty because you can’t overtake another lorry that’s going half a mile an hour slower than you? LOL! Come off it, you know that’s absolute nonsense. What about all the vans, cars and other vehicles that get held up by the slow overtaking lorries, don’t you have any thought for them and their need to get to their destinations on time? Why should they have to travel at least 15 miles per hour slower for miles on end just so you can do an extra half mile per hour? Stop being so selfish and look at the bigger picture! Remember, it’s not just lorries that make deliveries, other vehicles do too. And what about people on their way to important business meetings – perhaps to make a deal with a customer who is buying goods which will eventually be delivered by lorry – if these people can’t get to their meetings on time to complete deals, you’ll soon start complaining when the shelves are empty ha ha.

      Don’t get me wrong, lorry drivers are essential and do a brilliant job but there’s much more involved in getting goods on shelves you know.

      I doubt the ban on lorries overtaking on the M11 will make much difference to the overall journey times of lorries but it will make a substantial difference to journey times of other road users who won’t end up getting stuck behind slow overtaking lorries for miles.

      As the majority of deliveries are planned in advance, logistics companies can always add a few minutes to the ETA for the half mile per hour loss, whereas someone, for example, trying to rush to hospital, will really benefit from not sitting behind a lorry overtaking at 55MPH for 10 minutes.

      Reply
      • Robert Cadwallader
        Robert Cadwallader says:

        Go ahead do it ! Then every lorry in the country should park up and not move until it’s lifted. Then when the fuel stations run out of fuel travel by train. So tired of everyone slating us hgv drivers, have you ever wondered how everything you gave ever purchased got to be where it was ? It wasn’t transported by a Boris bike or Austin Metro !
        What this government should be doing is spending the money back into policing the roads. Then let’s see how many of you keep your licenses because i see dangerous & reckless driving daily from all classes of vehicle.

        Reply
      • Garry Tumbinator
        Garry Tumbinator says:

        You clearly are a car driver and know sod all about deliveries because as any driver will tell you yes we have allocated delivery times but even if you get there bang on time you will often be stuck there in excess of three hours whilst they decide to tip you so further delays will just exasopate the situation as a trucker I am sick to death of whingeing car drivers ranting that they get held up for a few minutes you lot wouldn’t last in our world so carry on pushing your pencils for the benefit of no one

        Reply
        • motoringresearch
          motoringresearch says:

          Interesting heated debate, chaps, and we like to hear all sides on MR, but please try to keep it polite!

          Reply
  2. disqus_BWgVIyc7eo
    disqus_BWgVIyc7eo says:

    About time too, its ridiculous when you get stuck behind a lorry trying to overtake another doing about 1/10 mph more on a 2 lane motorway. They just do it for fun because its so boring driving a lorry the length of the country, same as they like to pull out in front of you when you’re 1/2 inch from the back bumper.

    Reply
    • michael
      michael says:

      you shouldn’t drive so close to the vehicle in front of you !
      Also why do some car drivers insist on doing 54 mph on an open motorway forcing lorries to overtake .. don’t they realise that driving too slow on a motorway or dual carriageway can cause accidents and congestion,, so please tell me what a lorry should do when stuck behind a car being driven at 54mph on the 1st lane – cant lorries overtake them (for your info lorries can legally drive at 60mph on motorways /dual carriageways but are limited to 56mph)

      Reply
      • disqus_BWgVIyc7eo
        disqus_BWgVIyc7eo says:

        How does driving too close to the vehicle in front, cause you to pull out when I’m virtually in line with your back bumper? Its just intimidation. I’m sorry I’m not responsible for car drivers doing 54mph, I concede there are idiots in all types of vehicles.
        The main problem really is on long hills. If your lorry is fully loaded it struggles to do 30 uphill (I can live with being stuck behind someone doing 56 occasionally), and then you try to overtake a heavier or older lorry doing 29!

        Reply
        • michael
          michael says:

          the roads belong to everyone – what car drivers don’t realise is that lorry drivers are always on strict timescales due to the tacho laws (they should fit taco’s to cars then they wouldn’t be driven when drivers are over tired and case accidents) if a lorry slows down it takes longer to get to their destination too just like cars but unlike a car drivers who can legally drive for 24 hours non stop a lorry driver can’t so every time there is a hold up or congestion the tacho driving time(and their working time directive) is ticking away..
          So what if you are held up behind a lorry – at least you wont get a hefty fine for going over your driving / working time directive hours..

          Reply
    • George Frost
      George Frost says:

      You will be moaning when you cannot get on and off the motorway you just need wait 2 minutes while one with a faster limiter overtakes you would do same if your car had a 56mph limiter and you came behind another vehicle limited to 54mph

      Reply
    • Garry Tumbinator
      Garry Tumbinator says:

      Yes bring it on I’d love to see you get onto the m11 because lorries will be nose to tail so you my friend will be waiting awhile because no trucks will be able to let you out as they can’t Change lanes so suck on that you moron

      Reply
      • disqus_BWgVIyc7eo
        disqus_BWgVIyc7eo says:

        since when have lorries pulled out to let cars onto the motorway?????? From you attitude you obviously don’t.

        Reply
    • michael
      michael says:

      I hope you think about all the products that you buy either in shops or online – ALL YOUR SHOPPING IS DELIVERED BY LORRY – without lorries on the roads YOU WOULD STARVE AND BE AS NAKED AS THE DAY YOU WERE BORN !

      Reply
      • disqus_BWgVIyc7eo
        disqus_BWgVIyc7eo says:

        DUH! I do realise that, but that doesn’t give lorry drivers a God given right to own the road and intimidate car drivers.

        Reply
        • michael
          michael says:

          you are correct no one should be intimidated whilst using the highways that belong to all of us –
          It also doesn’t give car drivers the God given right to overtake a lorry in the belief that they can pass a truck safely when they can’t see what’s in front of it (perhaps even another truck) and then realise they can’t get passed safely due to another vehicle coming in opposite direction and then having to swerve in front of the lorry while EXPECTING the lorry to just stop to avoid a collision
          I am a car driver too .. I suspect you cant drive a lorry ? Therefore due to being able to drive both types of vehicles I think I have the right to express an opinion based on experience that you have not got (Have you ever tried to stop a lorry when a stupid car driver swerves in front of you…it wont stop like a car you know)

          Reply
          • disqus_BWgVIyc7eo
            disqus_BWgVIyc7eo says:

            Going of topic slightly re overtaking as you are obviously referring to single carriageway road, but I would agree most car drivers are very poor at overtaking mainly because they leave if in 5th/6th gear where most cars have about the same acceleration as a 40 Tonne lorry.(Playing devils advocate a bit here – when an overtaking lorry DOES pull in, inevitably the next car is a 1 litre micra stuck in 5th gear which cannot accelerate past the lorry, that then pulls out again).
            Second point, no I can’t drive a lorry, never driver any thing bigger than a large Transit but I am a scientist and understand the laws of Physics and I can understand how much of a nuisance car drivers swerving in can be.
            At the end of the day- its bad driving that’s the problem whether its from cars or lorries (don’t even start me on buses!) and that’s not going to change while the police/government only pursue easy cases like speeding and never careless/dangerous driving

  3. michael
    michael says:

    all this will mean is that the 1st lane will become clogged up with lorries behind each other therefore resulting in congestion at slip roads (how many times will trucks have to slow down and give way to vehicles entering onto the M11) and exits and tailbacks will occur resulting in frustrated other drivers – if a lorry driver at the front of the “queue” of lorries is driving at 56mph it doesn’t mean the one at the end of the queue will be driving at 56mph due to the concertina effect ,, result ,, CONGESTION in the 1st lane for miles and miles and miles.. also it could mean that the M11 is missed out by lorry drivers if possible and other motorways / roads will get congested … its not the amount of traffic on the roads that cause congestion.. its how the roads are made ..with 3 lane motorways going into two lanes on slip roads. Having roads with roundabouts and traffic lights that stop drivers going left or straight on – why (if the land is available) are some roads made without left hand turn lanes or flyovers ? I guess people will say its about the cost but then how much does it cost the economy with congested roads that have been poorly designed ?

    Reply
  4. michael
    michael says:

    Just re -read the article “lorries to be banned from overtaking on M11”
    so please tell me what a lorry should do if stuck behind some idiot car driver who has decided they are to drive at 54 mph in the 1st lane ? does a lorry have to the drive less than 54 mph and stay behind the idiot therefore causing congestion ?

    Reply
  5. Gaz Attwood
    Gaz Attwood says:

    Great!!! The majority of HGV’s have a set speed limit of 56MPH. But, most superstore HGV’s (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons) are set to 50-52MPH. Other haulage companies are set the these lower limits as well, to reduce fuel costs. So, with this law, the rest of us HGV drivers will be stuck behind them as well! And that’s without the muppet car drivers that sit there at 50MPH. Another thing most car drivers don’t realise is that there is roughly a 2MPH difference between cars and HGV. A car doing 50MPH is actually 48MPH to a HGV. This law will cause more congestion in the long run! The M11 is a motorway, and therefore should be a 3 lane road. This new law is a joke!

    Reply
  6. Mick Paul Green
    Mick Paul Green says:

    what a total numpty who ever thought of this , if there gonna do this then they have to increase our driving time limit otherwise , deliveries wont get done and more drivers will end up having more nights out away from there families , this country is a complete and utter joke !!

    Reply
  7. Andy Grace
    Andy Grace says:

    I think this will be a complete waste of time, I drive a unit which has been limited to 52Mph and carry 28 ton most days, the amount of other lorries that overtake me is endless, if they bring this in as a law British transport will stand still also I can’t see the oversea drivers sticking 2 it as most of these lorries can touch 60mph without thinking about it

    Reply
  8. Phil Huff
    Phil Huff says:

    I’ve got mixed feelings on this. Yes, as has been mentioned in the comments, there could be issues with lane one congestion.

    However, the M11 is probably the best place to at least trial this – it’s got an unusually long two-lane section, is a seriously busy road, had fewer junctions than most motorways, and even holds the honour of having the longest section between junctions at 14 miles.

    Reply
    • disqus_BWgVIyc7eo
      disqus_BWgVIyc7eo says:

      The M11 is brilliant compared with the A14 link to the A1. Most days you would be glad to be doing 56mph on that stretch.

      Reply
      • Phil Huff
        Phil Huff says:

        Very true! I’ve spent many an hour stationary on that stretch. Too many junctions to test this idea out though.

        Reply
  9. Theodore Coleshaw
    Theodore Coleshaw says:

    As a high mileage car driver, Im slightly sympathetic to Lorry drivers. Over the course of a day’s worth of driving, if a lorry is forced to travel at 50mph for the duration instead of 56mph, he loses the best part of an hours’ distance travelling, which I’m certain would have an impact on deliveries in the grander scheme of things as they can’t simply drive an hour over the maximum allowed by government rules to make it up. But the only reason they have to overtake is because someone else is driving too slow. Sometimes that’s because their vehicle is even more restricted than a HGV which is something the government should look at, or because it’s one of those ultra conservative drivers or whom lack the confidence to travel at an appropriate speed for the road and conditions, and by rights the slowest vehicle on the motorway should be an HGV so people should be more considerate of HGV limits and not force them to make a decision to overtake. That being said, during high volume traffic periods, it isn’t unreasonable to restrict which vehicles can and can’t overtake where it disrupts the main traffic flow of vehicles that can travel at 70mph. I therefore don’t think it is too much to ask that on a dual carriageway during busy periods that lorries don’t overtake, but that vehicles in the inside lane speed up where possible to not impede lorries either.

    Reply

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