The two main groups representing hauliers in the UK, the RHA and Logistics UK, have both expressed their concerns that Transport for London has ignored their warnings regarding the new Direct Vision Standard, or DVS.
Both of the organisations have released a joint statement which says that they are “fully committed to improving the safety of all road users, and putting in place workable solutions that reduce the risk of road fatalities”.
A joint statement released by the two groups says that their industry had already raised some considerable concerns about their proposed changes to the DVS scheme, which puts more responsibility on the operators themselves. It also features a distinct lack of regulatory oversight from Transport for London, as well as no distinct accreditation process for new regulations to abide by.
October 2024 Deadline
The new standards DVS are implementing need to be introduced by October 2024. By this time, operators of HGV vehicles will be required to replace any equipment already installed by the government in “good faith” to meet standards laid out in the new system.
In addition to existing concerns, the two groups have also pointed out that Transport for London has failed to clarify why existing kit needs to be replaced under the new guidelines. This lack of knowledge makes it difficult for future kits to be compliant.
Both trade bodies have voiced their ongoing support for the Vision Zero road safety strategy the Mayor is championing, which includes future improvements to help guarantee the safe operation of vehicles. However, the bottom line is that a lack of available kit at the moment and a shortage of fitters qualified to make changes means that the industry will struggle to make the required changes before the deadline of next autumn.
It has been said that the trade associations need a degree of certainty if they are to understand their role in preparing for the new regime, and to ensure they spend money effectively in terms of planning ahead to invest in the right equipment.
Both groups have recently put out a joint statement which says the following:
“Operators 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.”
It is worth noting that both Logistics UK and the RHA are both committed to maintaining an ongoing collaboration and partnership with Transport for London, with the aim of helping them to inform hauliers and give them the tools necessary to prepare for the new regulations.
With that being said, it is difficult to know what the future will bring or indeed how it will be influenced by an ongoing effort on part of the two groups. All anyone knows for sure is that it is vital more support is offered for these groups to ensure hauliers transition as best they can.