The Armitage Inquiry found that an increase in maximum gross vehicle weights to 34 tonnes on 4 axles, 38 tonnes on 5 axles and 44 tonnes on 6 axles would permit a reduction in the size of the heavy articulated vehicle fleet of some 13%. A survey of 114 operators with 1533 maximum weight articulated vehicles was conducted. Given the weight and volume characteristics of the loads carried, the maximum possible reduction in the number of vehicles is 10%. However, if the maximum gross weight is set at 38 tonnes rather than 44 tonnes, the maximum possible reduction in the vehicle fleet is7.6% and the indications from operators are that the fleet size might actually fall by about 5%. The operating benefits from the likely proposals for heavier weights are therefore significantly lower than those accepted by Armitage
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