Sadiq Khan’s announcement to ban HGVs from London by 2020 could hinder road safety and new construction
THE Mineral Products Association (MPA) says London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans to ban 35,000 HGVs currently operating in London from January 2020 is likely to cause a negative impact on both road safety and the ability to deliver new homes and infrastructure in London.
In recent years, the widely acclaimed CLOCS initiative has significantly improved road safety in London as the whole construction supply chain has taken sustained action to train drivers, equip HGVs with additional safety equipment and improve the planning of deliveries to sites, in order to reduce collisions between industry vehicles and vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists.
The MPA, however, has warned the Mayor’s recent announcement undermines CLOCS. The Association says instead of making it an integral part of the Safer Lorries Scheme, the Mayor seems to have ignored the initiative and has chosen to ban HGVs judged to have less direct vision.
Consequently, many thousands of HGVs, which have been fitted with cameras and sensors – with the very active encouragement of Transport for London (TfL) – could be banned from London from 2020, while HGVs that are assessed to have more direct vision, but have no equipment to remove HGV blind spots, will be allowed on London’s roads.
This lack of recognition of the benefits of technology, warns the MPA, to help eliminate vehicle blind spots is a potential own goal, as even higher visibility HGVs have blind spots that only technology can eliminate.
The MPA highlighted the proposed banning of 35,000 HGVs in the English capital will make it extremely difficult to supply planned construction needs, putting additional housing and infrastructure development at risk in London.
Nigel Jackson, chief executive of the MPA, said: ‘MPA members are absolutely committed to improving road safety for all vulnerable road users and have been leading supporters of the CLOCS initiative from the outset. This is not just talk; our industry has taken very significant practical action and invested heavily in training and technology.
‘We are very disappointed that the Mayor has unilaterally decided to ban 35,000 HGVs without any obvious discussion with industry on the implications of his decision.’
Mr Jackson added: ‘There seems to be no recognition of the link between any vision for London and the practicalities of how we are going to make that happen and the vital role transport must play in delivering that vision on the ground. We hope that the Mayor takes note of the concerns of our sector, which supplies the greatest tonnages of essential products to the construction industry in the capital, and he agrees to engage with the industry as a matter of some urgency.’