LONDON HAS MOVED a step closer to banning unsafe lorries from its streets as freight operators, councils and transport officials met in London to discuss how to operate safer and more efficient deliveries.
The news comes as the first of 600 signs for Transport for London’s (TfL’s) and London Council’s Safer Lorry Scheme, due to begin operating in just three months time, were erected across the Capital.
From 1 September, the signs will be in place around London reminding all HGV drivers and operators that they must have essential safety equipment installed, to keep vulnerable road users safe, if they are to drive in the Capital, or they will face fines between £50 and £1000.
Enforcement of the Safer Lorry Scheme will be carried out by Metropolitan and City of London police officers and examiners from the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
Enforcement by units such as the Industrial HGV Taskforce (IHTF), will mean that any driver that attempts to enter the Capital without vital safety mirrors and sideguards on their vehicles will incur fines.
The ambition is to have all relevant vehicles upgraded with the safety equipment before the scheme begins. The exclusion of dangerous vehicles from London will help deliver TfL’s commitment of a 40 per cent reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured on the Capital’s roads by 2020.
Research suggests that the use of sideguards and mirrors, as prescribed by the Safer Lorry Scheme, would have prevented up to 12 deaths or serious injuries over a five year period.
Leon Daniels, managing director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: “From September, we want our city to be free of the rogue minority of HGVs, which put road safety at risk.
“As we draw closer to the start of the Safer Lorry Scheme, we are working hard to ensure operators know that enforcement of this scheme is coming soon. Improving road safety, and particularly reducing collisions involving freight vehicles, is vital for London and we want all operators to do the right thing and ensure they have the necessary mirrors and sideguards that protect vulnerable road users.”
Already, the targeted enforcement work of the IHTF has seen dramatic results, and the most dangerous vehicles taken off the roads. Between October 2013 and April 2015, the Taskforce targeted and stopped 4,761 vehicles on London’s roads – with only 26 per cent of these found to be fully compliant.
The IHTF, which comprises Metropolitan and City of London police and examiners from the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency, is funded by TfL and the Department for Transport.
TfL is working in partnership with the freight industry, businesses and local authorities to change how deliveries are made, with a particular focus on retiming deliveries to outside of the peak 07:00 – 13:00. This change would allow reduced costs for operators, lower emissions, improved customer service and decreased congestion.