"The government has agreed to increase the number of LSTs by an additional 1,000 and to extend the trial by 5 years. This increase will take the number of LSTs from 1,800 to approximately 2,800 over the next 12 months.
Operators will be invited to bid for a share of the additional allocation, in the coming months.
Details on how to apply will be available soon."
Update January 2017: Source https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/longer-semi-trailer-trial
Don-Bur is also aware that, during a canvassing exersize organised by the DfT last year, operators agreed that an increase in LST numbers would be welcomed.
The trial extension was signed off by The Rt Hon John Hayes CBE MP, one of the reasons offered being "in order that operators could recoup the costs of their investments."
The DfT will shortly be inviting operators to bid for a share of the additional allocation although no further details are available yet on how to apply. It is suggested that an allocation cap on the total LST allocation for any one company is "likely", as it was before the extension. If it follows the previous criteria, operators will only be able to have an allocation of up to 20% of their fleet size, or 180, whichever is the smaller number.
The DfT also comment that they are currently considering the data reporting requirements for the remainder of the trial and will be making a further announcement on this in the spring.
Richard Owens, Marketing Manager for Don-Bur comments "We are sure that many operators will be delighted with the possibilities afforded by an increase in the number of permissible LSTs on the road. Particularly where operators are not limited by weight, Longer Semi Trailers, with a maximum capacity of 60 UK pallets, are arguably the most cost-efficient method of trunking goods from A to B."
Written by: Richard Owens
Published by: Don-Bur