Too many 'dangerous and criminal' construction and waste hauliers in London, says TfL

 

There is a concerning number of “dangerous and criminal” construction and waste sector hauliers operating on London’s roads, TfL told MPs last week.

Speaking to the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group,  TfL deputy director of enforcement and on-street operations Siwan Hayward said there is a disproportionate level of rogue HGV operators in the construction and waste haulage sector.

“We have an element in this overall trade that are dangerous and criminal. It is not perceived in the same way as some organised criminality but we do have sectors that are significantly dangerous,” he said.

Hayward said the problem was so severe that the London Freight Enforcement Partnership (LFEP), which was set up in 2015 to target rogue freight operators, was focusing a large part of its efforts on monitoring construction and waste HGV operators.

“We have a sector here that is serially non-compliant,” she said, pointing to TfL statistics, which show that of 20,000 stops made of vehicles operating in the construction and waste sector since 2013, only 11% of the vehicles were compliant.

She said 120 vehicles operating in the construction and waste sectors had been seized by enforcement officers since 2013.

Hayward added: “There are huge quantities of breaches” in drivers’ hours, followed by breaches in vehicle roadworthiness. 
Other offences included operating an HGV without driver insurance.

Hayward criticised the courts for not recognising the seriousness of offences committed by HGV drivers. She said that, whereas City of London Magistrates Court will typically fine an HGV driver £250 plus court costs, Bexley Court will charge £20 for the same offence.

“Some courts are not taking the risk posed by HGVs seriously, which is of huge concern to us,” she said.

RHA national policy director Jack Semple said: “We have highlighted the need for greater enforcement in London for years and we are disappointed that we’ve yet to see the results of research, commissioned by TfL two years ago, on the effect of this greater enforcement.” 

Hayward also singled out the standards of van drivers in London. “There has been a growth in the use of vans for deliveries,” she said, adding “there is evidence that 80% of collisions involving vans in London are the result of the risky behaviour of van drivers.”