Thursday 29th Sep 2016 - Logistics Manager

FTA sets out fears over TfL lorry safety proposal

The Freight Transport Association has voiced concern over Transport for London’s Safer Lorry Scheme- The Way Forward, saying it is not the most effective approach to tackle the issue.

TfL’s document proposed that every vehicle in London over 3.5 tonnes must be fitted with sideguards and mirrors, which will be enforced by CCTV cameras and on-street checks.

If the vehicles do not comply with the required safety equipment, it suggests banning them from driving on London’s roads.

But the FTA said this will affect a much wider audience who may be unaware that the restrictions apply to them.

“These proposals will affect anything larger than a transit van and are not targeted, as we believe they should be, at construction traffic,” said FTA’s head of urban logistics policy, Christopher Snelling.

“Many large vans and small HGVs would in fact fall foul of other legislation if they fitted additional mirrors as their cabs are too low and pedestrians and cyclists would be at risk of being struck by these low mirrors.

“This is the danger with politicians developing new standards without working with the industry.Safety on the roads is a complex issue and politicians often reach for the simplistic solution.”

The association also noted that the move would mean London businesses will incur more costs on a daily basis.

“There is no guarantee that these costs won’t increase in the future, and how politicians might decide to change or extend these powers at a later date,” added Snelling.

“FTA considers that one of the best uses of TfL’s time and money would be to maintain a higher level of enforcement against poor quality HGV operators and we will recommend that approach to them in our response.”