'Superlorry' takes to Britain's roads

* Truck 9m longer than artic lorry * Haulage boss says its legal * Government says it isn't...

'Superlorry' takes to Britain's roads

A British haulage company is preparing for a legal battle as it attempts to introduce a 25-metre long 'superlorry' to UK roads - despite the Government's insistence that it's illegal.

The double-articulated lorry is nearly 9 metres (29 feet) longer than a conventional articulated lorry, and uses steering rear axles to manoeuvre. Similar vehicles are already legal in several European countries.

The man behind its creation, haulage company boss Dick Denby, claims that the extra-long lorry is both safer and more environmentally friendly than existing big trucks, saying that it's able to stop in a shorter distance because of its additional wheels, and emits less CO2 when carrying lightweight loads.

The Department for Transport has refused Denby permission to trial his lorry on the public road, but he has announced his intention to drive it on the A46 today so that, if the police decide to prosecute him, he can fight the decision not to permit the lorry in court.

Denby claims that his superlorry is allowed on the road under legislation for the recovery of broken-down lorries, which says that vehicles 'may be' allowed to pull more than one trailer and can be up to 25.9 metres in length.

Denby last drove a truck 14 years ago and, at the age of 74, has renewed his licence for one journey in the superlorry. He says he is prepared to be prosecuted to test out the legal loophole.

The Department for Transport argues that the superlorry risks safety and allowing it to operate in the UK would require 'substantial investment in road infrastructure.'