FTA Says Cities Should Not be Setting Vehicle Design Standards, as DVS Consultation Gets Underway

A 6-week public consultation period on the proposed Direct Vision Standard has begun, which will effect all operators with vehicles travelling into or out of London.

Transport for London (TfL) says that DVS will remove the most unsafe HGVs from London’s roads, making them safer and reducing injuries and collisions. In 2017 around 4,000 people were killed or seriously injured in the capital.

As part of the public consultation TfL is asking people to have their say on the final scheme proposals with a particular focus on the HGV safety permit processes. As part of the consultation, people can comment on:

  • The process for obtaining a vehicle’s direct vision star rating
  • The safe system requirements
  • The permit application and administration process
  • The enforcement and appeals process

Christina Calderato, Head of Delivery Planning at TfL, said: ‘London is leading the way with truck safety and we invite views on our final proposals.”

According to TfL the European Commission has followed London’s lead by including direct vision in the revised General Safety Regulation, which is the leading piece of EU road safety legislation.

‘Our Direct Vision Standard will fundamentally improve the safety of HGVs in London. We hope that the European Commission’s backing will help us make HGVs safer across the continent,’ says Calderato.

FTA Reservations

The consultation has been welcomed by the Freight Transport Association (FTA), which represents more than 17,000 logistics businesses; though the influential organisation, which lobbies government on behalf of industry, says cities should not be setting vehicle design standards.

Natalie Chapman, Head of Urban Policy at FTA, said: “The future of road safety will be delivered through technological development and new vehicle design standards which FTA believes will be best set at an international level.  It is misleading to expect all vehicle designs to be modified for the UK market – new cab design takes years and millions of pounds of investment to be brought to market, and manufacturers are unlikely to develop new vehicles for use in a single city, even one as busy as London. FTA has always believed that technological innovation is the only way to deliver the Mayor’s vision for an end to deaths and serious injuries on the capital’s roads by 2041.”

Direct Vision Standard Timeline

  • October 2019: The first permits will be issued. Trucks rated 0* will need to upgrade to a Safe System in order to get a permit
  • 2020: Enforcement begins
  • 2024: The minimum Direct Vision Standard star rating increases from one to three star or a progressive Safe System

The FTA is urging operators to make a point of responding to TfL’s public consultation.

“It is encouraging to note that many of FTA member’s suggestions have already been taken on board as plans for the London Direct Vision Standard have progressed,” says Chapman. “With a recognition of the need for greater detail on how the programme will actually operate now available.  It is also welcome to see that those operating larger fleets will not be required to provide as much detail as first thought – logistics is already one of the most heavily legislated sectors of industry, and additional bureaucratic burdens at a time when the industry is under great economic and trading pressures would have been untenable.”

Have Your Say

The public consultation is open to feedback now via this online survey. The survey will close on Monday 18th February.

Find Out More and Have Your Say