Mayor sets out measures to rid London of dangerous lorries

Sadiq Khan has announced ‘ground-breaking proposals’ for a new safety standard designed to remove the most dangerous heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) from the Capital’s roads.

Described as ‘a world first’, TfL’s Direct Vision Standard was announced today (30 Sept) and will use a ‘star rating’ from 0 to 5 stars to assess HGVs based on the level of direct vision the driver has from the cab.

Under the plans, which will be put out for consultation in the near future, the most dangerous ‘off-road’ HGVs (rated zero) will be banned from London’s streets by January 2020. By 2024, only HGVs meeting 3 stars or above – ‘good rating’ in the new Standard – will be allowed on London’s roads.

HGVs were involved in 22.5% of pedestrian fatalities and 58% of cyclist fatalities on London’s roads in 2014 and 2015, despite only making 4% of the miles driven in the Capital. The Direct Vision Standard press announcement says the restriction of a driver’s field of direct vision by vehicle design contributed to many of these fatalities.

It is estimated there are currently around 35,000 zero star-rated ‘off-road’ HGVs operating on London’s roads, and these vehicles were involved in around 70% of cyclist fatalities involving HGVs in the last three years.

Sadiq Khan said: “I’m not prepared to stand by and let dangerous lorries continue to cause further heartbreak and tragedy on London’s roads.

“The evidence is clear – HGVs have been directly involved in over half of cycling fatalities over the last two years, and we must take bold action to make our roads safer for both cyclists and pedestrians.

“I’m determined to ensure the most dangerous zero star-rated lorries are removed from our roads completely by 2020.

“Our ground-breaking Direct Vision Standard will be the first of its kind in the world, directly addressing the issue of lethal driver blind-spots.

“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, and the benefits of a new era of modernised and safer HGVs felt by all road users across London.”

Leon Daniels, managing director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: “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 builds on the success of working in partnership with both vehicle operators and manufacturers through the award-winning CLOCS. It will help bring the whole lorry fleet up to modern safety standards. The right lorry in the right place keeps a city functioning.

“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, and around the world.”

30 September 2016

Picture: TfL