The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has declared itself “horrified” to learn that Transport for London (TfL)’s latest proposal could result in the banning of half of the capital’s existing heavy goods vehicles (HGVs),with changes set to come into force from 2020.
What is Direct Vision Standard?
The new, London-only Direct Vision Standard assesses and rates how much an HGV driver can see directly from their cab in relation to other road users. It was launched by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, in September to improve the safety of road users, especially more vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.
The initiative has seen TfL develop a star rating from zero to five stars for trucks exceeding 12 tonnes. But while the ratings are yet to be established, TfL has confirmed that both articulated and rigid vehicles will be subject to the standards, believing that a ban should be imposed on many long distance trucks entering London with goods.
RHA slams “unfair” plans
The RHA has stated that it attended a meeting on 17th March in which TfL estimated that 35,000 of the 188,000 trucks presently entering the capital would be banned in 2020, with a total of 94,000 made illegal by 2024. It said that TfL could not say which vehicles would be banned and which would not.
RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett commented:
“We consider these latest proposals to be unfair. They represent a U-turn in as much as the original plans were to specifically be aimed at increasing the safety of construction vehicles.
Of course we understand the need to make the roads as safe as possible, but this proposal has run off the rails. It is simply not credible. It’s impossible for a haulier to buy a vehicle now that complies with TfL standards – as no vehicle has been assessed against any standard.
It is absurd to expect businesses to invest many tens of thousands of pounds in new, clean Euro VI vehicles only to have them banned by TfL in a little over two years’ time… the timings and requirements that are being specified are ridiculous.”
The RHA added that hauliers and other stakeholders at the meeting had pointed out they were unsure they could purchase compliant vehicles in time. There have also been claims that the value of new but non-compliant trucks could collapse.
Could such drastic changes increase demand for warehousing space?
The team at Bis Henderson Space works hard to keep up to date and informed on anything that might affect our clients and their need for space. These latest proposals from TFL could prove incredibly challenging in terms of potential demand for both warehousing space and cross docking facilities and as TfL are set to undertake statutory consultation in spring 2018, if you suspect your organisation could be affected, please get in touch.