In 1983 the maximum permitted gross weight in the United Kingdom for artics with 5 or more axles was increased from 32.52 to 38 tonnes. Other changes in the operating environment for goods vehicles also occurred between 1983 and 1991. This report examines the impact of these changes on goods vehicles operations. Changes in goods movement, the composition of the fleet of goods vehicles and the commodities carried by different types of vehicles were analyzed. The trends in vehicle utilisation, in terms of annual travel, goods movement, haul length and load factors were also examined. The number of goods vehicles with 4 or more axles that would have been operated in 1991 if the maximum permitted weight had remained at 32.52 tonnes was estimated. (A)

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