From October 2024, any HGV vehicles that are over 12 tonnes will be subject to new rules. Transport for London has announced the new safety systems that will become legal in Greater London. It requires the vehicles to be at least three-star rated or be fitted with new safety systems.
Changes to HGV Safety Permit Scheme
The current HGV safety permit system is part of the Direct Vision Standards for London, and on June 12, 2023, the London Councils Transport and Environmental Committee made the new decision. This is not entirely new because there were previously arranged agreements in place, but it confirms that on October 28, 2024, the rules are changing. Any vehicle over 12 tons that do not have the minimum requirement of a three-star driver vehicle safety rating will instead have to have the Progressive Safety System fitted before they are allowed to drive in greater London. Transport for London has confirmed that they will provide a three-month grace period which will run from the 28th of October.The grace period will be subject to review, and the London Councils Committee could potentially further extend the grace period, a decision that they will make in June 2024.
Progressive Safety System
Speaking about the change, the London councils executive lead for climate change, transport and environment, Mayor Philip Glanville, said, “After a robust discussion at London Councils Transport and Environment Committee, we have agreed on an implementation plan for the Progressive Save System with further debate planned for next year. We will continue to work diligently with TfL and the haulage industry to ensure the safety of London’s road users is paramount. London boroughs are committed to Vision Zero and understanding how we can make London’s roads safer for our communities. We can and must do more to reduce road danger until there are no deaths on the capital’s roads.”
In Place Since 2019
The original safety permit scheme for HGVs in the London area was started in 2019. It meant that any vehicle weighing more than 12 tons was required to make an application for a permit if they wanted to be able to operate in the London area. This scheme took no notice of the DVS star rating for the vehicle. The rating is determined by how much an HGV driver can see from their tab window. This is because the area around the vehicle is the most likely point of impact for collisions and is a contributory factor for fatalities. Since the scheme was introduced. Only six fatal accidents have taken place between 2018 and 2021, which is down from 12. Although the official data has not been released yet, there is evidence to suggest that it's continuing to fall and is now, in 2023, down to 3 from six.
Transport for London says that this proves how important it is to continue to augment the scheme to ensure that road danger in London is reduced and that the goal of eliminating the risk altogether of death and serious injury for the London transport network is achievable.