London’s Safer Lorry Scheme comes under FTA scrutiny

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The impact of the proposed London Safer Lorry Scheme is to be examined at an upcoming conference being staged by the Freight Transport Association (FTA).

The Fleet Engineer Conference, on June 10, will also look at the Ultra Low Emission Zone, vulnerable road users as well as commercial vehicles.

Organisers say the urban commercial session will discuss what effect the Safer Lorry Scheme will have on the industry and where the scheme looks like going next.

There’s also a planned session on the debate over safe practices for fleets including that for the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) and Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety (CLOCS).

The conference will also discuss the likelihood of restrictions on lorries within UK cities and restrictions on CO2 emissions.

Safer Lorry Scheme is a ‘radical departure’

The head of urban Logistics at the FTA, Christopher Snelling, said: “The Safer Lorry Scheme concept is a radical departure as it is the first time a city in the UK has designated what a ‘safe’ vehicle should be.

“The question now is where this goes next and how the Department for Transport reacts on national regulations.”

He added that fleet operators need to be aware of FORS and its potential future impact as well as moves to tighten CO2 emissions within cities.

Journey time reliability concerns FTA

Meanwhile, the FTA has expressed its concern over journey time reliability for the UK’s road freight operators.

They say there is a discrepancy between government statistics and industry opinion over journey time reliability.

Though the figures have shown a marginal improvement over the past year, they are still running at below 80%.

Indeed, the FTA says, its members are reporting consistently that journey reliability in the UK has been worsening and not improving over the past year.

FTA members say journey times are getting worse

The head of road network management policy for the FTA, Malcolm Bingham, said: “Members perception is not matching that suggested by the official figures.

“Highway England statistics are showing an improvement in general reliability but our information dictates that is not the case for the majority of our members.”

The FTA says that journey time reliability is a crucial element for road freight operators who have to plan and schedule journeys accurately to avoid being late in deliveries. The organisation estimates that for every minute a 44 tonne truck has to queue in traffic, it costs the operator £1 a minute.