Transport for London (TfL) is calling on hauliers to make sure they apply now for their HGV Safety Permit or risk facing a fine of £550 from 1 March when entering London.

TfL is warning that applications “take time to process” and is urging hauliers to act now.

The free permit will be required for all HGVs over 12 tonnes driving within Greater London. It is part of the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) which is a key element in London’s Vision Zero plan which aims to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries on London's streets.

The DVS uses a star rating system to rate HGVs based on how much a driver can see directly through their HGV cab windows, ranking from zero star, which indicates the lowest level of direct vision, to five stars.

To qualify for a permit, HGVs will require a minimum of a one star rating. Vehicles rated zero star will only be granted a permit if they are fitted with the appropriate equipment to increase the driver’s vision of the road.

The permit scheme will operate 24 hours a day, every day of the year and from 1 March 2021, HGVs not holding a permit, or in contravention of permit conditions, will be issued with a £550 Penalty Charge Notice - reduced to £275 if paid within 14 days - for each day the vehicle is driven within the DVS area.

In a statement issued this week, TfL said: “Permit applications can take time to process so please apply now to ensure your vehicles have permits by 1 March 2021.”