Increase of the Maximum Authorised Weights for Certain Alternatively Fuelled Vehicles and Certain Zero Emission Vehicles

Consultation opened on 18 January 2024. Closing date 13 March 2024 at 23:59.

Summary

This Consultation is seeking your views on a proposed increase of maximum permitted weights for certain alternatively fuelled vehicles or zero emission vehicles (mainly HGVs) within Northern Ireland. The increase is not a measure to improve road safety but is a focus on Climate Change which supports the reduction of harmful carbon emissions.

This consultation will be of interest if you, or your organization, own or operate, or plan to own or operate in the future, any alternatively fuelled or zero emission vehicles, mainly heavy goods vehicles (HGV’s).

Documents

Consultation description

The Department for Transport (“DfT”) published its Transport De-carbonisation Plan in 2021, setting out its commitments and the actions needed to de-carbonise the entire transport system in the UK. The use of zero emission vehicles and alternatively fuelled vehicles can contribute to transport de-carbonisation, as well as reduce emissions of air quality related pollutants. In Northern Ireland, the increased use of zero emission vehicles and alternatively fuelled vehicles will also contribute to transport de-carbonisation which will be needed to meet the targets in the Climate Change Act (Northern Ireland) 2022.

The aim of this increase in maximum weights is to encourage freight operators to adopt alternatively fuelled vehicles and zero emission vehicles by removing any payload penalty caused by the heavier alternatively fuelled or zero emission powertrain.

For reference, powertrains consist of everything in a vehicle that delivers power including the engine, energy/fuel store and transmission system. The powertrains required for alternatively fuelled vehicles and zero emission vehicles are different from conventional engines such as petrol or diesel powertrains and although they reduce pollution, they generate extra weight. In most cases the principal additional weight will be from fuel tanks and in the case of electric vehicles, the battery.

This consultation document now seeks your views on proposals to increase the maximum permitted weights for certain alternatively fuelled vehicles or zero emission vehicles (mainly HGVs).

Following the closure of this consultation, the results will be analysed, along with other sources of evidence, and if an increase to the maximum permitted weights for certain alternatively fuelled vehicles or zero emission vehicles is to be implemented, we will be required to amend the Motor Vehicles (Authorised Weight) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999 (SR 1999 No. 258)

If you require a hard copy of this Consultation document or have any other enquiries please email your request to: vehicle.standards@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

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