TfL plans to start applying the new, London only, Direct Vision Standard for both articulated and rigid vehicles ahead of the close of its own consultation period – starting next month (April 2017) – and the Road Haulage Association says it is “horrified”.
At a meeting attended by the RHA last week (17 March 2017), TfL itself 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.
Yet, currently – despite having developed the star rating from zero to five stars for direct cab vision for trucks over 12 tonnes – TfL cannot say which vehicles will be banned and which will not.
“We consider these latest proposals to be unfair,” states RHA chief executive Richard Burnett.
“They represent a U-turn in as much as the original plans were to specifically be aimed at increasing the safety of construction vehicles,” he continues.
“Of course we understand the need to make the roads as safe as possible, but this proposal has run off the rails.”
Burnett says that TfL’s pronouncement is “simply not credible”, adding that it is “impossible” for a haulier to buy a vehicle now that complies with TfL standards – since 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 6 vehicles only to have them banned by TfL in a little over two years’ time,” he argues.
TfL expects to undertake the statutory consultation in the spring of 2018. The organisation confirmed that “this is subject to government and European Commission support”.
However, Burnett expresses concern that it is “not clear what approvals need to be given” by these bodies.
“This is a fiasco; it is a shocking attack on business in the capital,” insists Burnett.
“The cost of this will be met initially by road hauliers, but will eventually be picked up by the people of London,” he continues.
“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.”