DVS consultation: Logistics UK calls for further clarity
Business group says further specification details needed to ensure operators can engage and respond
FOLLOWING the announcement from Transport for London (TfL) regarding the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) consultation, Logistics UK is calling for further specification details to be released to ensure operators can fully engage and respond.
The Progressive Safe System is being reviewed and consulted on and will consider any additional technology or safety equipment not currently available. Any new equipment or technology proposed for the Progressive Safe System must be able to be retrofitted to HGVs, industry recognized and readily available on the market at the time. From October 2024, HGVs rated below three stars will need to feature the Progressive Safe System.
The safety of all road users remains a crucial priority for the logistics sector, which has been demonstrated by industry’s high compliance rate; figures from TfL demonstrate that more than 94% of HGVs in London operate with a DVS safety permit and the number of serious collisions involving HGVs has more than halved since before the scheme was introduced in 2018, to 2021.
Chris Yarsley, Logistics UK’s senior policy manager – road freight regulation, commented: ‘The consultation document currently provided by TfL states that the specification for various safety features, including sensors, will be made available once the period for responses closes.
‘This detail is vital as operators cannot provide a full response without clarity on what additional features will be required. Industry wants to fully engage however this requires full understanding and detail that currently the consultation does not provide.’
Logistics UK is encouraged by the guidance that further safety features should be retrofittable to existing vehicles and not be cost prohibitive. It says operators willingly engaged with the initial standards, incurring multiple costs to upgrading existing fleets.
Mr Yarsley continued: ‘It is now important that these upgrades, which were made in good faith, are not fully superseded. Operators are facing increased costs due to rises to inflation, net-zero transition costs and increased fuel prices. The logistics industry operates on tight profit margins and, like other sectors of the economy, is facing increased financial strain.
‘Logistics UK is urging TfL to consider not just the cost of purchasing, but also the potential costs of the vehicle(s) being out of service while fitting new systems. Logistics UK is also calling for TfL to consider the national shortfall of available technicians needed to make these upgrades, when considering time frames for implementing the increased safety standard.
‘Industry fully supports the need to increase road safety and wants to work together with TfL to achieve this; it is vital we get this right. The consultation announced today is a welcome step towards this, however further clarity is needed to ensure this next phase in increasing the safety standard is practicable and effective.’
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