Tuesday, April 21, 2020

London Restrictions on Vehicle Emissions and Driver Vision Standards - Penalties Suspended

Regulations Will Come Into Force on Schedule but Offenders to Get Reprieve
Shipping News Feature

UK – A message this week from Transport for London (TfL) confirming it has had a request from Mayor Sadiq Khan to delay the enforcement of new rules for London's Low Emission Zone (LEZ) and Direct Vision Standards (DVS) for at least four months after their introduction this October.

Both of these policies have been criticised at some point by road haulage interests, DVS for example saw the authorities change the regulations about the equipment required in a lorry several times before the standards now due in were finalised. The LEZ brought criticism that it would disproportionately affect smaller operators who could not afford to update their fleets.

Now it seems although the new rules under both schemes will still legally come into force on 26 October, no charges will be payable or enforced until the end of February 2021. TfL says the new date for the start of enforcement will be kept under review.

The authorities recognise that, although companies have been preparing for the new rules for some time, with many vehicles already compliant, the pandemic has disrupted supply chains and has placed additional demands on the industry. TfL accepts that postponing enforcement will allow the freight industry to focus on its core operations during the pandemic.

Proponents of the central London Ultra Low Emission Zone, and even those who oppose the way it is being introduced, accept it will help clean up London's air and save lives, and the tightened emission standards for buses, coaches, lorries and specialist vehicles are aiming to do this.

Meanwhile the Direct Vision Scheme is intended to reduce the danger to vulnerable road users by introducing a safety permit system for HGVs, assigning vehicles a star rating based on how much the driver can see through their cab window.