A group of Lorry drivers in Scotland are planning an imminent protest on the A9 to show their opposition to the plans to introduce average speed cameras and not increase the speed limit for HGVs.
The A9 is an important trade route connecting the large Scottish conurbations of Dunblane and Inverness, and the drivers plan to make the protest during the busy weeks in the lead up to Christmas. The form the protest will take is known as a “rolling roadblock”, where drivers stick resolutely to the 40mph speed limit along the road. The group will not look to organise convoys, but the formation of them is pretty much inevitable.
The aim of the protest is to show the public what travelling down the buys road would be like if the cameras were to be introduced, as large sections of the road are yet to be upgraded to a dual carriageway. It is thought that approximately 150 drivers have agreed to take part.
The speed limit for HGVs on the single carriageway sections of the A9 is 40mph – the hauliers and drivers taking part in the protest want to see a trial period where the limit is set to 50mph, and would call off the protest should such a pilot project be announced.
The announcement of the speed cameras was made by Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown in July in order to reduce the number of deaths occurring on the road. The limit of 40mph for vehicles over 7.5 tonnes is 20mph slower than the limit for cars, and 10mph slower than for smaller vans and lorries, buses and coaches, motor homes, and caravans.
Protesters believe the limit will actually worsen accidents. Conor McKenna, an Inverness based HGV driver and spokesman for the lorry drivers said, “All we are asking is to give us a trial at 50mph. Car drivers want it. It would improve safety on the A9. But without it there will be more driver frustration which leads to accidents.”
A spokesperson for Transport Scotland said, “As stated previously, the A9 Safety Group, Ministers and Police Scotland have not ruled out the introduction of 50mph speed limits for HGVs in future if evidence supports this. Further investigation work into the effects of increasing the HGV speed limit has been undertaken.”