Up to 90,000 lorry journeys have been cut under a government trial, using longer semi-trailers to transport goods between warehouses and depots.

The scheme, which involves approximately 1,800 trucks, has saved up to 10.6 million vehicle kilometres and is expected to save over 3,000 tonnes of CO₂ emissions.

Transport minister John Hayes said: “Lorries are the engine of our economy and this pilot scheme is helping hauliers deliver the day-to-day goods we need more efficiently.

“This is good news for consumers, a boost for motorists as it is helping cut congestion with fewer vehicles on the road and it is also helping the environment.”

He said the economic benefits of the project were estimated at £33m over the next 10 years, with British hauliers saving up to one in nine journeys with the lorries that are up to 15% longer than standard 13.60 metre vehicles, cutting costs.

Despite the bigger size, they will still meet the existing manoeuvrability requirements and maximum weight limit of 44 tonnes for 6-axle vehicles.

Following the positive results the Department for Transport is consulting trade associations and participants on whether to increase the number of vehicles in the trial.