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Get ready early for new lorry scheme

FTA advises operators to start preparing now for Transport for London’s Safer Lorry Scheme
 
THE Freight Transport Association (FTA) is advising all operators whose lorries travel into London to prepare early for Transport for London’s Safer Lorry Scheme, which goes live on 1 September 2015.

The scheme will require almost all HGVs operating in the city to be fitted with additional mirrors and sideguards – but the new regulations are exceptionally precise and the FTA says expert help might be needed to get it right.

The FTA’s head of engineering, Andy Mair, said: ‘Dimension and installation requirements are extremely complex and operators who have to retro-fit their trucks to comply with the scheme need to be confident that sideguards have been put on correctly.

‘As these vehicles are exempt from existing construction regulations, they will not be checked as part of the annual testing examination and operators may only realize that they have incorrectly installed sideguards following enforcement action and fines under the new Safer Lorry Scheme.’

The scheme will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will require all vehicles over 3.5 tonnes to be fitted with sideguards and kerb view and front mirrors. The enforcement area is the entire London Low Emission Zone and operators breaching the rules face £50 fixed penalties or £1,000 court fines.

The scheme will be enforced by the police, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, and the joint Department for Transport/Transport for London-funded Industrial HGV Taskforce. Those who do not comply will be referred for investigation by the relevant Traffic Commissioner.

Mr Mair said: ‘The FTA strongly advises operators to check their vehicle types against the exempted vehicle list on Transport for London’s website, and if they have vehicles which require sideguards and mirrors to be fitted, ensure they have these correctly installed.

‘To be assured that the safety devices have been installed to the correct requirements, help is on hand from the FTA’s Vehicle Inspection Service engineers, who can carry out compliance inspections to ensure the complex fitment requirements are met.’

The FTA’s UKAS-accredited Vehicle Inspection Service offers compliance checks that can be carried out on site at operators’ premises by the FTA’s visiting inspection service.

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