Mayor’s drive to rid London of dangerous lorries

Mayors drive to rid London of dangerous lorries1

New proposals to make London’s roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists have been announced by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

Under the plans to be consulted on shortly, the most dangerous HGVs will be banned from London’s streets entirely by January 2020.

Transport For London’s Direct Vision Standard will rate construction and other heavy goods vehicles from 0 to 5 stars – from ‘best in class’ (those using features like low-entry and remodelled cabs to drastically reduce blind spots), to ‘not suitable for urban environment’ (construction vehicles designed for off-road use with drivers high up in the cab making blind spots nearly three times larger).

HGVs that are ‘zero star rated’ will be banned by 2020, and by 2024 only HGVs achieving 3 stars or above will be allowed on London’s roads.

Recent data shows that HGVs were involved in 22.5% of pedestrian deaths and 58% of cyclist deaths on London’s roads in 2014 and 2015, despite accounting for only 4% of the miles driven in the capital. The restriction of drivers’ field of direct vision by vehicle design has been proven to have contributed to many of these fatalities.

There are around 35,000 of the zero star-rated ‘off-road’ HGVs currently operating on London’s roads, and they were involved in around 70% of cyclist fatalities involving HGVs in the last three years. It is this type of vehicles the Mayor has pledged to remove from London’s roads by 2020.

TfL and the wider Greater London Authority group will lead by example and adopt the new Direct Vision Standard in all future contracts from the new financial year. The Mayor and TfL will also work with developers and councils to encourage them to do the same, and the Mayor has pledged to continue pressing the EU to introduce new EU wide safety standards for HGVs.

“I’m determined to ensure the most dangerous lorries are removed from our roads by 2020,” Sadiq Khan said. “Our ground-breaking Direct Vision Standard will be the first of its kind in the world and 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.”

Leon Daniels, the Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, added: “Lorries designed in the 1970s and for use in a quarry have no place on the streets of a 21st century city. Our Direct Vision Standard has been developed using extensive technical research and will help to bring the whole lorry fleet up to modern safety standards.

“By helping everyone ensure they are using, contracting or buying lorries with high levels of driver direct vision, we will increase the demand and supply of such vehicles to the point where these safer trucks are the main lorry of choice in the capital, other cities and around the world."

Monday 17th October 2016