Higher Capacity Vehicles (HCVs) | Freight & Logistics Research Group


Julian Allen

Allen, J. and Piecyk, M. (2020). ‘Higher Capacity Vehicles (HCVs) Brie ng Report – Executive Summary’, SRF Technical Report, CUED/C-SRF/TR16/S.

The University of Westminster is a member of the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight (SRF), a collaborative project with other UK universities (Cambridge and Heriot-Watt), companies (including John Lewis, UPS, Sainsbury’s and Volvo), trade associations, and the UK Department for Transport. SRF is funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and by industry. The purpose of SRF is to research engineering and logistics operation solutions to make road freight transport more economically, socially and environmentally sustainable, as well as assist the UK industry to meet its voluntary pledge to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 15% by 2025 (from 2015 levels) and contribute to net-zero GHG by 2050.

As part of SRF, the University of Westminster has recently carried out research into the role that the use of Higher Capacity Vehicles (HCVs) could play in GHG emission reductions. HCVs are road freight vehicles that are greater in terms of volume and/or weight carrying capacity than those currently permitted. The work involved reviewing all the research into, and field trials and implementations of, HCVs across the world over recent decades in order to identify evidence of their advantages and disadvantages in terms of road freight vehicle activity, environmental impact, safety, and operating and infrastructure costs. The research concluded that a well-loaded HCV will, through its greater load capacity, result in a reduction in vehicle journeys and hence vehicle kilometres, and that this in turn will lead to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air pollutants than conventional road vehicles per unit of goods carried, as well as reductions in total vehicle collisions and injuries. The research has been published as a briefing report to help inform those involved with public policy and corporate decision-making. The report recommends that the UK government reconsider its policy regarding the adoption of HCVs.

Read more at: http://www.csrf.ac.uk/