London to introduce city-wide van restrictions from September, says TfL
09 February 2015
Author: Daniel Puddicombe
The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, Transport for London and London Councils have greenlit a London-wide ban on all vans and HGVs weighing over 3.5-tonnes that are not fitted with extra mirrors and side guards.
From September all vans and HGVs over 3.5-tonnes that are not fitted with extra equipment can be fined a maximum of £1000 for each breach in the city.
In 2014, 6797 vans weighing between 3.5t and 6t were registered in the UK.
The scheme will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will be enforced by the police, the DVLA and the joint TfL and Department for Transport funded Industrial HGV Taskforce.
The ban is designed to protect cyclists and pedestrians, and is primarily aimed at HGVs. However, the legislation does not differentiate between an HGV and a van weighing over 3.5t.
TfL said in a public consultation, the scheme, known as the Safer Lorry Scheme received 90% support.
Traffic orders implementing the system are being drawn up, and the installation of road signs at London's boundaries, training of police offers and information campaigns have all started.
Vehicles will need to be fitted with Class V side proximity mirrors, Class VI front projection close proximity mirror and a side guard. TfL said the mirrors would give the driver a better view of cyclists and pedestrians around the vehicle.
TfL said of the 14 cyclist deaths in London in 2013, nine involved HGVs. It is one of TfL's 'key commitments' to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in London by 40% over the next five years.
"Improving the safety of London's roads is a top priority. 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," said Boris Johnson, mayor of London.
"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," said Johnson.
A spokesman for Mercedes-Benz - the biggest seller of vans weighing between 3.5t and 6t - said operators will need to ensure their fleet is compliant. "We work with a number of approved third-parties to supply safety equipment," he said.