Khan sets out plans to make capital’s roads safer

London mayor Sadiq Khan has decided to ban all dangerous lorries from the capital’s roads by 2020 to transform road safety.

The plans, announced last week, include Transport for London adopting a Direct Vision Standard, which uses a 0 to 5 star rating for construction and heavy goods vehicles based on the level of vision the driver has from the cab.

HGVs rated below three stars or above will be allowed on London’s roads by 2024.

Recent data has shown that HGVs were involved in 22.5% of pedestrian fatalities and 58% of cyclist fatalities on London’s roads in 2014 and 2015.

The restriction of drivers’ field of vision from older vehicle designs has been proven to have contributed too many of these fatalities, according to the mayor’s office.

It is estimated that there are 35,000 HGVs that would be zero star rated by the Direct Vision Standard currently operating on London’s roads and these are estimated to have been involved in 70% of cyclist fatalities in the last three years.

Peter Jacobs, managing director of construction and integrated solutions at Wilson James, described the decision as a “good idea,” as a way of improving safety, but said it was “only part of the answer”.

“There needs to be a reduction in the number of loads via consolidation, which would also remove a lot of HGVs from London’s roads” he said. This would have an impact not just on road safety but also on air pollution and sustainability.

Jacobs added that the consultation on the decision may prove “quite difficult” and he hoped it would focus on helping smaller companies through the process.