A fiasco, unfair and absurd

The Road Haulage Association says it’s horrified by proposals from Transport for London (TfL) that could ban half of the existing HGVs from London from 2020.

TfL proposals were announced as part of its new London only, Direct Vision Standard. It 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.

TfL has been developing a star rating from zero to five 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, believing that 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, although ‘this is subject to government and European Commission support.’ However, it’s not clear what approvals need to be given by these bodies.

Richard concluded, ‘This is a fiasco, it is 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.’