Scotland should not pursue blanket application of planned 20mph speed limits, RHA has urged in its submission ahead of the Scottish budget.
In a letter to Scotland’s Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Shona Robison, the HGV and coach trade association highlighted the environmental impact of such lower limits for larger vehicles. A plea for better parking facilities was also among the requests.
Holyrood has expressed a commitment to “ensure all appropriate roads in built-up areas have a safer speed limit of 20 mph by 2025”.
Wales this year become the first country in the UK to roll out a default 20mph limit for built-up areas.
RHA writes: “We recognise the [Scottish] Government’s desire to follow Wales’s example and make 20mph the default speed limit in Scotland. We understand that this is not a blanket 20mph limit as councils have the ability to exempt roads best left at 30mph.
“However, we believe that, outside of residential estates, schools, and areas with a high percentage of pedestrians and cyclists, that 30mph should be the default.”
RHA adds that HGVs and coaches are “not designed to run optimally at speeds lower than 30mph”. It continues: “Below this speed, the physical mechanics of changing gears and engine revving, generating torque to physically get and keep the vehicle moving creates unnecessary additional emissions due to high revs.
“We ask that the Scottish Govt take this into consideration when making decisions about non-residential roads.”
Elsewhere in the document, RHA says reform planning to support the creation of secure coach and lorry parking facilities is important for the Scottish economy. The body estimates a UK-wider shortage of 11,000 coach and lorry parking spaces.
RHA also uses the submission to highlight a lack of coach parking bays and drop-off points in city and tourist centres. This follows recent news that the tourist hotspot of Bourton-on-the-Water is set to have no coach drop-off or parking facilities from 2023 onwards.
Noting the lack of HGV and coach drivers and vehicle technicians in Scotland, RHA supports reform of the Apprenticeship Levy. It adds: “It is also worth noting that there is currently no route for potential coach companies through the Modern Apprenticeship route.”