In response to today’s announcement by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, (9 April 2020) that Transport for London is postponing the enforcement of the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) and the tightening of the London-wide Low Emission Zone (LEZ) for at least four months until the end of February 2021, Natalie Chapman, Head of Urban Policy at FTA comments:
“Logistics businesses are having to give their complete attention to the urgent task of keeping goods moving across London throughout the Covid-19 outbreak; there is simply no time, resource or funding for them to undertake the significant work needed to prepare their fleets for the arrival of DVS and the tightening of the LEZ. As such, we are relieved the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, listened to the concerns shared by FTA’s Chief Executive, David Wells, in his letter dated 20 March 2020 and has agreed to delay the enforcement of both schemes for at least four months until the end of February 2021. FTA and its members support fully the Mayor of London’s ambition to improve road safety and air quality across the capital but dealing with the immediate crisis of Covid-19 – a situation unprecedented in our times – must for now take priority.
“Logistics operators are already facing significant disruption to their operations as members of their workforce fall ill and/or enter into self-isolation. Achieving compliance with DVS will require many goods vehicles over 12 tonnes to have additional cameras, sensors and alarms fitted. However, supplies of technology, equipment and trucks are already being disrupted and more effects are expected. Delaying enforcement will allow businesses to focus their efforts on ensuring the population of London continue to receive the food, hygiene products and other basic items required to see them through this pandemic.
“Whilst the announced delay will give welcome relief to logistics operators, a longer period is likely to be needed for businesses to adjust and FTA will continue to work collaboratively with TfL on the details and the timetable. Many operators had already started replacing vehicles and fitting additional safety equipment in preparation for the original October deadline, so in many cases compliance with these schemes will be realised even sooner than the original October deadline.”
Efficient logistics is vital to keep the UK trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. FTA is one of the biggest business groups in the UK, supporting, shaping and standing up for safe and efficient logistics. We are the only business group in the UK that represents all of logistics, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods.
For more information please visit www.fta.co.uk