§ Mr. Moate
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the increase in the numbers of heavy goods vehicles taxed of the 38 tonne limit, expressed both numerically and as a percentage, as at year end 1988 compared with 1987; and how he measures the objective of reducing the numbers of heavy lorries in the light of these figures.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
The stock of 38 tonne goods vehicles increased by 9,900 (24 per cent.) between the end of 1987 and the end of 1988. It is estimated that the introduction of 38-tonne vehicles since 1983 has led to a saving of about 9,000 other heavy goods vehicles that would have been required to cope with the current level of haulage activity. This saving is estimated by assuming that a 38 tonne vehicle has a 20 per cent. greater payload, by weight, than a 32.5 tonne vehicle, that in other respects, eg journey length, load factors, etc. the vehicles operate in the same way, and that no new traffic is generated by 38-tonners.