New government regulations have come into force, allowing more environmentally friendly heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) on Britain’s roads.

The new rules allow companies to operate vehicles with elongated cabs and aerodynamic features fitted on the back, which help reduce fuel consumption.

A 2013 study estimated that these aerodynamic improvements to HGVs could result in fuel savings of 7-15 percent. They were previously not permitted for use on Great Britain’s roads under regulations that have been in place since 1986.

The government says that the design of elongated cabs also improves driver vision, boosting safety for other road users. The extra space can also facilitate a larger bed in sleeper cabs.

“This is another brilliant step, not just in our efforts to reduce emissions across our transport network, but also to improve safety on our roads,” said Roads Minister Baroness Vere. “I hope operators will make use of these new regulations, introducing vehicles with these features into their existing fleets to reduce fuel consumption and boost safety, as we build back better from COVID-19.”

The Department for Transport has published good practice guidance on the use of aerodynamic rear devices on HGVs in urban and rural areas.