FTA comes out against London rush hour ban of lorries

The Freight Transport Association has come out against any rush hour ban of lorries in central London. Members of the London Assembly have called for such a ban on safety grounds.

Due to the growing number of cyclists on the roads and real safety fears the London Assembly has called for a rush hour ban on HGVs in the Greater London area. The FTA has responded, pointing out that the Safer Lorry Scheme (SLS) that imposes safety regulations on large vehicles in the area are enough already.

Instead the FTA has called for greater enforcement of existing regulations, as well as improvements to HGV design so they can see smaller, vulnerable road users, and more training for cyclists and lorry drivers alike. Christopher Snelling, Head of Urban Logistics for the FTA said of the proposed ban, “For example while early morning is rush hour for cyclists, the peak time for pedestrians is later – we need to ensure that solutions do not bring unintended consequences. Better awareness, training and behaviour is needed from all road users to make our roads as safe as they can be.”

One of the issues that the FTA can’t get round is the issue of pollution. The big diesel engines of HGVs pump out lots of pollutants relative to taxis and cars, and the new Euro 6 emissions regulations only go some way to tackling the emissions.

One of the issues pointed out by the FTA is whether lorries would be able to enter the conurbation at all? At present they cannot enter certain boroughs at night, and with restrictions on their loading during daytime off peak hours it is extremely difficult to get business done as it is. Snelling asked, “Will the London Assembly now call on London Councils to reform the night time lorry ban? Where deliveries can be made outside of the peak, then we should find ways of enabling that to happen. At the moment they are not allowed to operate outside of the peak time.”