Pidgeon’s truck ban would put more vehicles on London’s roads: FTA24 February 2016

London mayoral candidate Caroline Pidgeon’s call for a peak-hours HGV ban is short-sighted and would put hundreds more vans on the city’s roads during the rush hours, according to the FTA (Freight Transport Association).

The Liberal Dem candidate wants HGVs and construction vehicles banned from central London from 7—10am and 4—7pm, enforced by Congestion Charge cameras, asserting that the ban would improve air pollution and make roads safer for cyclists.

She also wants edge-of-town delivery hubs –similar to those used during the London Olympics – to avoid the need for large vehicles in the city centre.

But FTA head of national and regional policy Christopher Snelling (pictured) says her ideas make no sense at all.

“[Each] medium-sized HGV would be replaced by 10 vans, with increased emissions, congestion, cost and potential injuries to vulnerable road users,” says Snelling.

Similarly, on delivery hubs he warns: “Again, this will put more vehicles on already busy the roads. Simplistic lorry bans are unlikely to be the best solution in terms of safety and will make it harder to operate businesses London relies on.”

Snelling urges mayoral candidates to consider all aspects of road use when looking for ways to improve safety and pollution – rather than simply banning lorries from city centres.

“HGVs can certainly play their part with cleaner Euro 6 engines, revisions to mirrors and sideguards and better cab design,” he insists.

However, he also makes the point that FTA has repeatedly urged government to offer incentives to enable operators to make the often costly changes to their fleets – but, so far, to no avail.

Brian Tinham

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