The Safer Lorry Scheme, set up by the London councils and Heathrow Airport, is to be launched in the capital in the autumn. The scheme has been set up to ensure that only lorries with basic safety equipment will be allowed on the roads.
Any vehicles that are currently exempt from national legislation for basic safety equipment will have to be retrofitted. This includes all vehicles in the construction, demolition and waste industries.
Under the scheme, vehicles over 3.5 tonnes that are currently exempt will be required to:
• Be fitted with Class V and Class VI mirrors giving the driver a better view of cyclists and pedestrians around their vehicles
• Be fitted with side guards to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels in the event of a collision
The scheme comes in to force on 1 September this year and will cover the same area as the Low Emission Zone. It will operate in the same way as the LEZ, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
It will be enforced by the Metropolitan Police Service, City of London Police and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.
• Drivers found to be in charge of a non-compliant vehicle may be issued with a £50 Fixed Penalty Notice
• The offence also carries a potential fine of £1000 at Magistrate’s court
• The Traffic Commissioner, who has the power to modify or suspend operator licenses, will also be notified of companies operating vehicles in breach of the scheme
Transport for London have just closed applications for feedback on their Ultra Low Emission Zones plan. The ground-breaking proposals would require all vehicles travelling within the Congestion Charge zone to meet new emission standards and would be in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Many vehicles would already meet these standards in 2020, however by introducing this requirement next year the Mayor and TfL aim to accelerate the take up of low emission vehicles and stimulate the low emission vehicle market. The ULEZ will also ensure London’s air quality improves more quickly, making the capital a more pleasant place to live and work, and encourage the use of more sustainable forms of transport.