The London Freight Enforcement Partnership was launched today to tackle unsafe lorries and take ‘non-compliant and unsafe commercial vehicles, drivers and operators’ off London's streets.
Consisting of Transport for London, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the Metropolitan Police Service and the City of London Police, the partnership plans to improve enforcement through better co-ordination of intelligence.
The partnership’s enforcement operations will involve more than 90 DVSA and police officers and a team of analysts taking part in joint actions.
It will also build on the work of Industrial HGV Task Force (IHTF) – funded by TfL and the Department for Transport – which in the last two years has lead to 4,500 prosecutions, 87 vehicles seized and 2,134 fixed penalty notices issued for driving offences including driving without insurance or a correct license and a lack of cycle safety guards.
Sir Peter Hendy, CBE, chairman of Network Rail, former TfL commissioner and chair of the partnership, said: ‘Working in a partnership, with shared expertise and intelligence, will help deliver even greater enforcement against rogue and unsafe freight operators who continue to not comply with the law and with the regulations.
'I am pleased to be chairing the London Freight Enforcement Partnership, which will act tirelessly to make London's streets safer for all, particularly cyclists and pedestrians.'
The partnership has already won the backing of the freight industry, with the Freight Transport Association (FTA) issuing a statement that said it is the ‘correct priority given the number of heavy good vehicles and cyclist incidents in London, and the involvement of seriously non-compliant vehicles in them’.
Christopher Snelling, FTA head of national and regional policy said: ‘The vast majority of road haulage operators take safety very seriously. The number of heavy goods vehicles involved in fatal incidents has almost halved in the last ten years. This is partly due to the investment by the logistics industry in improved vehicles, drivers and operating practices.
‘Increased enforcement using the intelligent, targeted approach taken in London is the right way to go as it allows us to prevent the small minority of operators who do not seek to follow the rules from using the roads. To have maximum effect this work needs to be part of a wide-ranging safety programme, which encourages safe and legal behaviour by all road users’
And the work also received government backing with transport minister, Lord Ahmad, stating: ‘By working together, officers from different agencies will use their experience and knowledge to deter and detect illegal activity by freight operators and drivers.’