London’s ban on HGVs and Construction vehicles by 2020

Last week it was announced by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, that by January 2020, many trucks, lorries and HGVs would be banned from the roads of London.

With lorries involved in more than half of the cycling deaths in London, this road safety scheme has been developed to better protect vulnerable road users and pedestrians in the country’s capital city.

The Mayor’s scheme will ensure that all construction vehicles will be given a safety rating, ranging from zero to five depending upon the driver’s visibility from the cab.

As of January 2020, all vehicles with the lowest rating of ‘zero-stars’ will not be permitted, which will mostly consist of construction trucks with high cabs and big clearance under the wheels. Following this primary step, safety measures will be upped to include any vehicles with ratings lower than ‘3 stars’ as of 2024.

A scheme such as this has been called for by Road Safety campaigners for many years, and as such has been more than welcomed by cyclists and pedestrians alike. However, not everyone is happy about Mayor Khan’s proposal to increase safety within London.

With the vast majority of vehicles affected being HGVs (Heavy Goods Vehicles), it stands to reason that any industry relying on the transport or removal of materials will feel the biggest implications of the scheme.

The Mineral Products Association are among those who believe that other methods could be implemented which would have less of a detrimental effect upon construction, whilst still increasing road safety.

For a number of years, the aggregates suppliers have been firm supporters of the Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety (CLOCS) initiative, and feel that the Mayor has largely ignored the huge benefits that they provide.

Furthermore, since the danger of such large vehicles has become apparent, many thousands of HGVs have been fitted with cameras and sensors to help reduce blind spots, methods which were actively encouraged by Transport for London- all of which will now be banned.

MPA Chief Executive Nigel Jackson has said: “Banning of all high ground clearance HGVs also ignores the reality that such vehicles are still needed, for example to remove soils and clay from new construction sites.”

The proposed banning of 35,000 HGVs would “make it extremely difficult to supply planned construction needs”, putting additional housing and infrastructure development at risk in London.

The MPA felt disappointed that the Mayor had not further considered the use of CLOCS as well as the benefits of road sensor technology for improving current road safety in London. 

7th October 2016

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