Banning lorries from city streets during the rush-hour is not the ‘silver bullet’ solution to improving safety in London, is the message from the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
Responding to the call from the London Assembly to a rush-hour lorry ban – subject to the completion of a full impact assessment, FTA said that delivering improvements will require action in a number of areas including: improved enforcement against non-compliant HGV operators; improvements to HGV vehicle design and use of technology; driver and rider training; better infrastructure on London’s roads, and a better culture of using the roads carefully and safely by all users.
Christopher Snelling, FTA Head of Urban Logistics stated: “The proposal for a rush-hour lorry ban is not a silver bullet solution. What we are looking for is improved safety for everyone, and there are many elements which should be considered. For example while early morning is rush hour for cyclists, the peak time for pedestrians is later – we need to ensure that solutions do not bring unintended consequences. Better awareness, training and behaviour is needed on from all road users to make our roads as safe as they can be.”
FTA also emphasised the importance for businesses to have goods delivered in time for the beginning of each working day in order that they are able to operate effectively and respond to consumer demands. Existing constraints – such as the London Lorry Control Scheme (or London Lorry Ban) make delivering off-peak difficult.
Mr Snelling asked: “Will the London Assembly now call on London Councils to reform the night time lorry ban? Where deliveries can be made outside of the peak, then we should find ways of enabling that to happen. At the moment they are not allowed to operate outside of the peak time.
He continued “FTA supports several of the items recommended by GLA today, but simplistic lorry bans are unlikely to be the best solution in terms of safety; could lead to an increase in emissions and congestion (if deliveries switch to smaller vehicles); as well as making it harder to operate the businesses that London depends on every day.”
The FTA outlined measures and actions it proposes as a better approach to making busy city roads safer. These include:
- Better culture of using the roads carefully and safely by all users
- Ensuring that all road users use the roads safely and comply with traffic laws
- Increased targeted enforcement against HGVs and drivers that do not comply with safety regulations
- Improved roads and cycling infrastructure
- Tipper vehicle operators to commit and work to the Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety (CLOCS) standard
- Incentives from Government to make lorries with better visibility more available and commercially viable
- Facilitating deliveries to take place outside the peak, such as easing night-time restrictions like the London Lorry Control Scheme (that ends at 7am each morning)
- Progressive improvement of safety standards for vehicle equipment from DfT, in line with what is possible for industry