Direct Vision Standard safety permit requirements revealed

cycling in London


Fresnel lenses won't meet the vision standard required by TfL's Safety Permit Scheme, but the permits themselves will be free of charge, according to new guidance.

The permit scheme, announced last year and part of the Direct Vision Standard (DVS), is designed to recognise efforts made by hauliers in regards fitting camera and sensor systems.

DVS will rate HGVs depending on the level of a driver’s direct vision from a cab. HGVs will be given a rating between ‘zero-star’ (lowest) and ‘five-star’ (highest). Zero-rated vehicles will be banned from 2020, and three-stars will be required to drive on London’s streets by 2024.

However, the permit as proposed would mitigate this, allowing HGVs that are rated zero-star to continue operating in London past 2020 if they have certain safety equipment fitted.

Under the proposals, all HGVs over 12-tonnes operating in Greater London from 26 October 2020 will need to hold a permit. They will be issued from October 2019.

If an HGV meets the DVS requirement a permit will be granted automatically. If it doesn’t then action must be taken to meet TfL’s Safe System.

The Safe System mandates that front and side blind spots are eliminated via a camera system, and that class V and VI mirrors and a sensor system with driver alerts. Left turn audible and ‘prominent’ signage is also required.

As stated, Fresnel lenses are not considered an appropriate means of minimising vehicle blind spots.

Under-run protection is mandatory. There are some exemptions from the Safe System requirements for emergency vehicles, and in specific cases, recovery vehicles.

The Direct Vision Standard has been described as flawed by road transport trade associations who have argued technology would be more effective and affordable.

Oldest HGVs to pay £300 daily fee to enter Greater London from October 2020


Older HGVs will face fines of up to £300 to enter the Greater London area from 26 October 2020, mayor Sadiq Khan confirmed today (8 June).

Following consultation, the mayor has announced he is to tighten the emissions requirement for the existing London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) from Euro-4 to Euro-6 for vehicles over 3.5-tonnes.

This will see Euro-4 and Euro-5 trucks paying a daily fee of £100 to enter the existing LEZ area, and Euro-3 and older paying £300.

The mayor is also extending the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) area up to the North and South Circular roads from 25 October 2021, following its initial central London rollout on 8 April 2019.

While the ULEZ expansion will not affect HGVs, which will already be covered by extended LEZ regulations, it will require cars and vans to be Euro-4 petrol or Euro-6 diesel or pay a £12.50 daily charge,

Both schemes will operate 24 hours, all-year round and be in addition to the current Congestion Charge.

The new ULEZ will cover an area 18 times larger than the existing central London zone.

An estimate of 35,000 vans and 3,000 lorries has been given by the mayor’s office for those that might be affected by the new plans.

The mayor said the expansion of the two schemes will reduce air pollution by as much as 80%, with only 4% of roads in outer London expected to be exceeding legal air quality limits in 2021.

Khan said: “Tackling London’s lethal air and safeguarding the health of Londoners requires bold action. Air pollution is a national health crisis and I refuse to stand back as thousands of Londoners breathe in air so filthy that it shortens our life expectancy, harms our lungs and worsens chronic illness.”

The FTA and RHA both urged the mayor to delay the tightening of any emissions schemes to enable operators time to upgrade their fleets.