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MPA welcomes Mayor of London’s latest plans

Vulnerable road user

Association supports drive to further improve the safety of vulnerable road users in the capital

NIGEL Jackson, chief executive of the Mineral Products Association (MPA), has welcomed the Mayor of London’s latest plans to help ensure that collisions between industry lorries and vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, are reduced.

The plans set out a timetable for the increasing use of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) with better driver vision and will also allow HGVs fitted with appropriate safety systems to continue to operate in London.

Mr Jackson said: ‘Improving road safety is essential, particularly for vulnerable road users. In recent years MPA members have invested in more effective training, the installation of better technology and increased engagement with other road users and key stakeholders.

‘MPA members, our construction colleagues and Transport for London (TfL) have made great progress in improving safety awareness and taking action through the Construction Logistics and Community Safety (CLOCS) initiative.

‘We support the Mayor’s drive to improve the direct vision of HGVs and look forward to engaging positively in the consultation and implementation processes.’

Transport for London has already released interim direct vision star ratings of Euro 6 HGVs as part of the development of its proposed Direct Vision Standard (DVS).

The DVS will be the first initiative of its kind to categorize HGVs depending on the level of a driver’s direct vision from a cab. HGVs will be given a star rating between ‘zero’ (the lowest) and ‘five’ (the highest), with only those vehicles rated ‘three star’ and above, or which have comprehensive safety systems, able to operate in London from 2024.

The development of the proposed DVS forms part of the Mayor of London and TfL’s ‘Vision Zero’ approach to reducing road danger.

Research by TfL shows that during 2014 and 2015, HGVs were involved in disproportionately high numbers of fatal collisions with cyclists (58%) and pedestrians (22.5%) on London’s streets, despite only making 4% of the miles driven in the capital. 

The release of the interim star ratings for individual Euro 6 HGV models will help give confidence that vehicles being manufactured, purchased or leased can be compliant with both Ultra-Low Emission Zone requirements and the DVS. 

Industry views have helped shape the proposals, which now include plans for an HGV safety permit scheme based on the DVS ratings, and industry-recognized safety systems to reduce road danger. 

If approved, the proposals will require all HGVs over 12 tonnes to hold a safety permit to enter or operate in the capital from 2020. Those rated ‘one star’ and above would automatically be granted a permit, while those rated ‘zero star’ would have to include specific recognized safety systems, such as sensors, visual warnings and comprehensive driver training, before a permit is granted. The safety permit scheme would evolve over time, taking into account advances in technology.

Industry and stakeholder views on the proposed DVS star ratings, the concept of a phased introduction of a new HGV safety permit, and the safe system approach will be sought during an autumn consultation. Confirmed star ratings will be published in due course.

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