At a meeting of the FTA’s Van Excellence Governance Group, it was unanimously agreed that, despite recent press reports trailing government plans to increase motorway speed limits to 80mph, manufacturers should be called upon to help play their part in managing van top speeds and to continue to restrict their vans to 70mph.
It was felt by the group that aside from the legal implications, restricting van top speeds would also see significant fuel economy benefits.
The FTA said that there were other benefits to be had by limiting vehicle speed, including reduced repair and maintenance bills and lowered driver stress levels.
Group chairman Gary Whittam said: “We find it impossible to justify why any conscientious van operator would allow its vans to operate above the national speed limit. Simply put, a van travelling at 80mph will be using significantly more fuel than one at 70. You don’t need a calculator to work out that at over £7 per gallon, that’s just burning money.
“Without exception manufacturers can easily limit the top speed of their vans. So the question is, why don’t they make limitation the default standard or at the very least a no-cost option?”
FTA’s Van Excellence Governance Group is made up of some 30 Van Excellence accredited van operators. It meets on a quarterly basis to manage the Van Excellence Code and to share best practice operational advice.