Project: Long Vehicle (15m) Manoeuvrability

Reference: S0210/VE

Last update: 07/06/2004 08:52:21


The project objectives are to:

* identify the safety risk to other road users and pedestrians by determining the likely actual increase in rear axle body overhang and any consequential rear body out swing over the kerb or into other traffic lanes for a range of different types of road layouts used in the UK;
* quantify how the risk to pedestrian and other road users would be changed when the three-year exception expires; and
* investigate whether the increase in bus length to 15metres requires greater reliance in the driver operation skills to avoid the additional body out swing overhanging the kerb and other traffic lanes, compared to a 12metre long bus.


The UK negotiated a three-year exemption from fully implementing the changes made to amending directive 96/53/EC (maximum authorised dimensions in national and international traffic) by directive 2002/7/EC. This amendment permitted an increase of up to15 metres in length for motor vehicle categories M2 and M3 (passenger vehicles).

Previous research undertaken for the department had identified that 15 metre long buses out-swing during training could represent a potential safety problem to other road users and pedestrians. This research is to investigate and report the potential problems to the UK when this exemption expires and the UK are required to implement fully the directive requirements.


TRL Limited
Crowthorne House, Nine Mile Ride, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 3GA
+44 (0)1344 773131

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £80,227.00

Actual start date: 01 November 2002

Actual completion date: 27 February 2004


PR/SE/764/03. An Assessment of the Manoeuvrability of Longer Rigid Vehicles up to 15m in Length
Author: TRL Ltd
Publication date: 01/03/2004
Source: Contact:

PR/SE/780/03. Long Vehicle Manoeuvrability (15m): Initial Regulatory Impact Assessment
Author: TRL Ltd
Publication date: 01/03/2004
Source: Contact:

Summary of results

  1. The results of simulations and tests were combined with infrastructure design standards, transport and accident statistics to estimate the risk to other road users based on two types of manoeuvre. The analysis suggests that allowing vehicle lengths to increase, without continuation of the UK's derogation to Directive 2002/7/EC, will result in a small increase in injury risk, but that the total number of injuries is likely to remain small. However the risk may be strongly affected by the design of infrastructure, for example to width of footways. Therefore the increase in risk may be greater in specific areas where the infrastructure does not meet current new build standards.