The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has argued that London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s determination to press ahead with new design regulations for heavy goods vehicles operating in the city is “flawed”.
Under Transport for London’s (TfL) DVS proposals, every truck model over 12 tonnes which qualifies for the Euro VI emissions standard has now been allocated a star rating, which TfL claims indicates the standard of visibility from the driver’s seat. From 2020 any truck which does not meet the lowest “one star” rating will require operators to obtain a safety permit, which will be achieved by fulfilling the requirements of a new “Safe System”. However, said FTA, details of what this system will entail, along with ratings for older vehicles, are yet to be determined.
FTA’s Head of Urban Policy, Natalie Chapman, welcomes the decision to finally publish details of the star ratings for each HGV model, but says the entire project is flawed.
“The whole process of implementing a Direct Vision Standard in London has been incredibly frustrating and disappointing,” said Chapman. “Especially, since the Mayor seems determined to focus on visibility from the cab, when research shows new technology would deliver far better results.
“FTA’s members take safety very seriously indeed and we have been advising our members operating in London to examine all available safety features when procuring new vehicles. In fact, TfL’s long drawn-out process in implementing the Direct Vision Standard is actually delaying the purchase of new safer, cleaner trucks. Operators have been forced to postpone new acquisitions, until they are given adequate detail about the star ratings and the standards required by the new Safe System.”
FTA said that it is now calling for “urgent action” to provide freight operators with detailed information about the requirements of TfL’s planned Safe System, especially as many will need time to purchase and fit any additional equipment. Chapman added the Mayor should also consider coordinating his plans for HGV regulation with the introduction of the new Ultra-Low Emission Zone to give logistics operators a fair chance to plan for the future.