Rendrive Haulage has branded the new Direct Vision Standards “an absolute farce” after it invested thousands into meeting the requirements but was told by Transport for London it was non-compliant.

The construction haulier said it could not recommend any company bothering to upgrade its fleet from the current standards after TfL compliance teams failed its vehicles because they had “absolutely no knowledge” of how the new safety systems worked.

TfL told Motor Transport it was looking into the issue.

Tony O’Malley, MD at the Belvedere, Kent haulage firm, said it was trying to do the right thing and upgrade its HGVs to the new DVS standards coming into force in October, but that it was “getting kicked all the way” for its efforts.

He said the business had spent more than £100,000 installing the progressive safety system requirements, but TfL staff at the Woolwich ferry terminal were not aware of the new rules and so labelled the fleet non-compliant.

O’Malley said: “They are failing my vehicles as non-compliant because the side sensors do not operate the way they expect them to.

“My drivers are fully trained, can demonstrate how the system works and have a full written handbook, installation certificate, together with MOIS and BSIS technical compliance certification to prove compliance.

“On one occasion the inspector admitted that they were not aware or trained for the new requirements and took on board the information we had.

“Today, a different inspector stated he had not got the time to listen or read the documentation as he was too busy and had not been made aware of any changes. He refused to issue any paperwork to document the stop and spent less than two minutes in total with my driver.

“The inspector said the stop was being reported as a fail.”

O’Malley added that he had been bombarded with communications by TfL and equipment suppliers telling the company to comply and now it was being penalised for its efforts.

“I could not recommend any fleet upgrading from their existing systems until TFL have got their act together. What am I to do, change back to the old systems?”

A TfL spokeswoman said: “We are sorry to hear about the experience of Rendrive Haulage.

“Our officers are highly trained to monitor compliance and any system meeting the requirements of the progressive safe system will automatically be compliant with the current safe system.

“We have approached the company to get further details of this case so we can investigate what happened here.”

A DVS ‘explainer’ has been put together in collaboration with the RHA after the association warned TfL the new standard did not make clear what equipment hauliers need to fit to be compliant.