Lorries will be banned from the vast majority of Greater London’s roads from 1 September 2015 if they are not fitted with certain safety equipment, following a coordinated effort from the Mayor of London, councils in Greater London, Transport for London and Heathrow Airport.
The move follows 2014’s “Safer Lorry Scheme” consultation that received significant support from individuals and industry bodies alike. HGVs will be required to have sideguards, Class V and Class VI mirrors if they wish to travel through the Greater London area in an attempt to reduce the number of accidents involving cyclists on London’s roads (motorways are exempt from these new regulations). Operators should be aware that failing to comply with the new standards could result not only in a fine of up to £1000 per breach but also a referral to the Traffic Commissioner.
Whilst the consultation estimated a total cost to haulage operators of £14 million to comply with the regulations (roughly £1300 per vehicle affected by the new rules), it also estimates that more than 50% of vehicles currently exempt from national regulations (due to their age or type of vehicle) had been retrofitted with side guards and extended view mirrors – and that as a result of the London Low Emission Zone, older vehicles would be less likely to enter London.
The Freight Transport Association has cautiously welcomed the new regulations (and has noted the exemptions and concessions for vehicles that could not fit this equipment) but has stated that better enforcement of existing regulations would have been a more appropriate tool to reduce fatal accidents. Many operators already abide by higher safety standards than those required by national legislation due to membership of industry groups (such as CLOCS) and/or contractual requirements requiring operators to ensure their vehicles are equipped with these safety features.
For further information please contact Joanne Witheford