TFL reports “public support” for London’s updated HGV rules

Published: 02 May 2019

TFL reports “public support” for London’s updated HGV rules
While TfL claim that the public have endorsed their plans for the latest alterations to HGV regulations while accessing the capital of the UK, the FTA on the other hand have said the policymakers need to shift their focus towards other areas of vehicle safety.

DVS (Direct Vision Standard) is set to be introduced later in the year, meaning trucks over 12 tonnes will be given star ratings which will identify the level of visibility truckers have from their cabin. If they match the standards given they will qualify for a permit, but any vehicle below a zero-star rating will need an upgrade to a “safe system.”

City Hall members stated the scheme was necessary due to the scale of accidents and fatal collisions involving cyclists, 63% of which involved HGVs as well as 25% of pedestrian incidents. City Hall hopes the new scheme will prevent further collisions. TfL’s objective is to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries from London’s roads by 2041.

A consultation on the scheme was launched by TfL, in which a majority of the respondents were supportive according to TfL’s research. However, a further consultation is planned for transport operators, meaning they will be able to have their say on the Safe System before the scheme is put into action.

Despite this, the FTA have spoke regarding concerns that focus isn’t shifting to other types of drivers within the city and that TfL need to develop technology and create an innovative solution that would prevent accidents with these vehicles happening, rather than focusing on the visibility of the vehicles themselves.

 “While the updated proposals for DVS are more workable for operators then earlier versions, it remains true that technological development and design standards for new vehicles – which would be best set at an international level – would provide a robust, long-term solution for road safety,” said head of Urban Policy at the FTA, Natalie Chapman.

 “The FTA is calling on the Mayor to realise the value this would provide and commit to focussing on new vehicle technologies to fast-track zero vehicular harm in the capital. The FTA fully supports the Mayor of London’s zero harm ambition; the freight industry takes road safety extremely seriously. The FTA has been working closely with TfL throughout the development of DVS and is very pleased to see that many of our practical concerns about the scheme have been taken on board. That said, Sadiq Khan seems determined to focus on visibility from the cab, which has limited benefits, when it is new technology that will deliver far greater and more ongoing safety improvements.”

Director of City Planning at TfL, Alex Williams gave his own opinion on the decisions of TfL, who stated the plan currently in place will help to reduce casualties across the city.

He said: “Our plan to reduce road danger around HGVs is a world first and will save hundreds of lives. By working with the freight industry and listening to their views, we are creating a scheme that works for everyone.”
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