Following the announcement from TfL regarding the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) consultation, Logistics UK is calling for further specification details to be released to ensure operators are able to fully engage and respond.
The safety of all road users remains a crucial priority for the logistics sector, which has been demonstrated by industry’s high compliance rate; figures from TfL demonstrate that more than 94% of HGVs in London operate with a DVS safety permit and the number of serious collisions involving HGVs has more than halved since before the scheme was introduced in 2018, to 2021.
Chris Yarsley, Logistics UK’s Senior Policy Manager – Road Freight Regulation, comments: “The consultation document currently provided by TfL states that the specification for various safety features, including sensors, will be made available once the period for responses closes. This detail is vital as operators cannot provide a full response without clarity on what additional features will be required. Industry wants to fully engage however, this requires full understanding and detail that currently, the consultation does not provide.”
Logistics UK is encouraged by the guidance that further safety features should be retrofittable to existing vehicles and not be cost prohibitive. Operators willingly engaged with the initial standards, incurring multiple costs to upgrading existing fleets. Mr Yarsley continues: “It is now important that these upgrades, which were made in good faith, are not fully superseded. Operators are facing increased costs due to rises to inflation, net zero transition costs and increased fuel prices. The logistics industry operates on tight profit margins and, like other sectors of the economy, is facing increased financial strain. Logistics UK is urging TfL to consider not just the cost of purchasing, but also the potential costs of the vehicle(s) being out of service while fitting new systems. Logistics UK is also calling for TfL to consider the national shortfall of available technicians needed to make these upgrades, when considering timeframes for implementing the increased safety standard.”
“Industry fully supports the need to increase road safety and wants to work together with TfL to achieve this; it is vital we get this right. The consultation announced today is a welcome step towards this, however further clarity is needed to ensure this next phase in increasing the safety standard is practicable and effective.”
Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With COVID-19, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods. For more information about the organisation and its work, including its ground-breaking research into the impacts of COVID-19 on the whole supply chain, please visit logistics.org.uk