The RHA and Logistics UK, the two main groups representing the UK’s hauliers, have expressed disappointment that the new Direct Vision Standard (DVS), published today by Transport for London (TfL), does not take into account concerns that have already been expressed by industry.
Both organisations are fully committed to improving the safety of all road users, and putting in place workable solutions that reduce the risk of road fatalities. However, the industry has already raised concerns over the proposed changes to the scheme – which will place a huge onus on operators, with no regulatory oversight from TfL and no accreditation process for the new regulations.
Tighter safety standards for DVS for HGVs operating in the capital are due to be introduced in October 2024, by which time operators will be required to replace equipment already installed by the sector in good faith to meet the current “safe system” but which may not meet the revised standard. In addition, TfL has not made clear why existing kits may need to be replaced under the new requirements.
Both trade bodies reiterate their support for the Mayor’s Vision Zero road safety strategy, including continuous improvements to ensure the safe operation of vehicles. But short lead-in times, a lack of available kit and a dire shortage of qualified fitters for it will make it impossible for the industry to prepare and be ready for the changes next autumn.
Hauliers need certainty to understand what they are expected to do to ensure they plan ahead and invest in the right equipment. They also need assurances that further changes will not be necessary once the new equipment is installed.
Manufacturers and suppliers will also need to understand what their customers will be required to do to ensure that they can service that demand.
The RHA and Logistics UK are committed to continued partnership and collaboration with TfL and other stakeholders to help prepare the industry for the changes ahead.