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Safer Lorry Scheme to begin in September

Lorry fitted with a sideguard

London to ban HGVs without required safety equipment to protect cyclists and other vulnerable road users

TRANSPORT for London (TfL) has announced that its Safer Lorry Scheme, which will require additional safety equipment on almost all HGVs operating in the capital, will go live on 1 September 2015.

Operating 24h a day, seven days a week, the Scheme will require all vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes to be fitted with sideguards as well as Class V and Class VI mirrors, to give the driver a better view of cyclists and pedestrians around their vehicle.

HGVs without the required safety equipment will be banned from all roads in the Greater London area, apart from motorways.

The Scheme will be enforced by the police, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and the joint TfL and Department for Transport-funded Industrial HGV Taskforce.

The maximum fine for each breach of the ban will be £1,000, and the operator will also be referred for investigation to the relevant Traffic Commissioner, who is responsible for the licensing and regulation of HGV operators.

Commenting on the scheme, Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: ‘We know that a large number of cyclist deaths and serious injuries involve a relatively small number of trucks and lorries that are not fitted with basic safety equipment.

‘Such vehicles are not welcome in the capital and the Safer Lorry Scheme will see them effectively banned from our streets. The lives of thousands of cyclists and pedestrians will be much safer as a result and I urge all operators of HGVs to get on board and make it a success.’

Natalie Chapman, the Freight Transport Association’s head of policy for London, commented: ‘The FTA is pleased to see that the necessary exemptions and concessions for the vehicles for which this equipment is either not possible or not legal have been included within the requirements of the London Safer Lorry Scheme.

‘However, in principle we believe that this kind of blunt regulatory tool is not the best way to improve cyclist safety. We still think that the money and effort spent on this scheme would have been better spent on increased enforcement against the small proportion of lorries that don’t comply with existing regulations.’

The FTA is now advising all operators to ensure that any lorry that may need to access Greater London in future has sideguards and Class V and VI mirrors fitted before 1 September, unless it is subject to one of the remaining exemptions or concessions.

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