London mayor threatens to ban ‘unsafe’ HGVs

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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said he will ban the ‘most dangerous’ HGVs in the capital by 2020 in a pledge to cut down on cyclist and pedestrian deaths.


Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

TFL’s Direct Vision Standard will use a ‘star rating’, ranging from zero to five, based on how much visibility the driver has from the cab. Zero rated vehicles are in the ‘most dangerous’ category, according to the London Assembly, there are around 35,000 zero rated vans currently on London roads.

Only vans meeting a three star rating or above will be allowed in the capital by 2024.

“I’m not prepared to stand by and let dangerous lorries continue to cause further heartbreak and tragedy on London’s roads,” said Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. “The evidence is clear – HGVs have been directly involved in over half of cycling fatalities over the last two years, and we must take bold action to make our roads safer for both cyclists and pedestrians.

“I’m determined to ensure the most dangerous zero star-rated lorries are removed from our roads completely by 2020.

“By continuing to work closely with industry, using TfL and public sector procurement and announcing our plans now, I’m confident that many of our lorries will now be upgraded well before the ban comes into place, and the benefits of a new era of modernised and safer HGVs felt by all road users across London.”


The industry responds

The RHA has said that it has “strong reservations” over the ban proposal, suggesting that the plans are “too simplistic”.

“Demonising lorries, which keep the economy and shops going, is unfair,” said Richard Burnett, the RHA’s chief executive. “Lorries – including construction vehicles – play a vital part in the economic life of London, without them the capital’s businesses would grind to a standstill.

“We want to bring balance to the argument, we’re not convinced these measures are the solution – improved visibility isn’t going to sort the problem alone”

The FTA has praised the new plans, but has said that the industry needs time to adapt to the new plans. It called for reasonable lead times to enable operators to plan their fleets in advance.

“…it should be remembered that for some operators – particularly small businesses – these proposals will be a significant challenge,” said Natalie Chapman, FTA head of policy, London. “Industry needs time to adapt and reassurance that the investments that have already been made – for example in sensors and camera technology recommended by TfL- will be taken into account. ”

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