The Freight Transport Association (FTA) says London mayoral candidate Caroline Pidgeon’s call for a peak-hour lorry ban is short-sighted and would put hundreds more vans on the city’s roads at the busiest time of day.
The Liberal Democrat candidate wants HGVs and construction vehicles banned from the city centre daily from 7-10am and 4-7pm, enforced by Congestion Charge cameras. She claims the ban would improve air pollution and make roads safer for cyclists. The idea was also mooted by current mayor Boris Johnson.
But Christopher Snelling, FTA’s head of national and regional policy, said: “Banning lorries at peak times makes no sense.
“Deliveries still need to be made so a medium-sized HGV would be replaced by 10 vans, with increased emissions, congestion, cost and potential injuries to vulnerable road users.
“Rather than ban lorries from our city centres, we need to focus on all aspects of road use to improve safety and pollution for everyone. HGVs can certainly play their part with cleaner Euro VI engines, revisions to mirrors and sideguards and better cab design.”
Snelling said FTA urged the Government to offer incentives to enable operators to make the often costly changes to their fleets.
Pidgeon has also called for the creation of edge-of-town ‘delivery hubs’ like those used during the London Olympics to avoid the need for large vehicles to enter the city centre.
Snelling said: “Again, this will put more vehicles on already busy the roads. Simplistic lorry bans are unlikely to be the best solution in terms of safety and will make it harder to operate the businesses that London relies on every day.”