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TfL Direct Vision proposal a fiasco says RHA

May 23, 2017

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) is horrified to learn that the latest proposal from Transport for London (TfL) could mean banning half of the existing HGVs from London - starting in 2020 - through the application of new, London only, Direct Vision Standard.

At a meeting attended by the RHA on 17 March, 2017, TfL estimated that 35,000 trucks out of the 188,000 that enter London now will be banned in 2020, with a total of 94,000 outlawed by 2024. TfL cannot say which vehicles will be banned and which will not.

Transport for London has been developing a star rating from zero to five stars for trucks over 12 tonnes. The ratings have not yet been established but TfL confirmed that the standards will apply to both articulated and rigid vehicles and believes many long-distance trucks entering London with goods should be banned.

RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett said, “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.”

TfL expects to undertake the statutory consultation in the Spring of 2018. They confirmed that ‘this is subject to government and European Commission support’, but it is not clear what approvals need to be given by these bodies.

Richard Burnett concluded, “This is a fiasco, it is a shocking attack on business in the capital. The cost of this will be met initially by road hauliers, but will eventually be picked up by the people of London. Businesses and people depend on lorries to deliver the goods they need, including the food we eat. It seems TfL is determined to undermine the competitiveness of London. The timings and requirements that are being specified are ridiculous.”

Hauliers and other stakeholders at the meeting pointed out that there is no certainty that they’ll be able to buy compliant vehicles in time and the value of new but non-compliant trucks could collapse.

Photo: Richard Burnett

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