London Councils could improve cycling safety by relaxing the London Lorry Control Scheme (LLCS) to enable more deliveries to be made at night, the FTA has told

Instead, The Transport and Environment Committee of London Councils is meeting today (12 December) to discuss introducing new conditions to the LLCS that would require all permit holders to fit cycle safety features to their trucks, such as side guards and mirrors.

The LLCS restricts the movement of HGVs over 18 tonnes between 2100 and 0700 on week days, and between 1300 on Saturdays until 0700 on Mondays in the capital. There are currently 56,000 permit holders.

“We’ve advocated relaxing the LLCS for some time; the scheme has been in place in the same way since the 1980s and LGVs are a lot quieter now and deliveries can be made in quieter ways than when the scheme was introduced,” said Christopher Snelling, FTA head of urban logistics policy.

“This particular proposal could have unintended  consequential risks as it could push vehicles without the safety equipment out of the night-time and into the day, when most cyclists are about,” he added.

Quick and easy

According to a document outlining London Councils’ proposals, changing the permit conditions of the LLCS would not require a formal change to the scheme’s legal order, so would be “far simpler and quicker than any legislative change”.

However, London Councils’ does state that “notification and engagement with permit holders and groups such as the FTA” would be necessary to establish detailed specification of any conditions.

“We’re disappointed that London Councils haven’t sought our opinion before coming to this point. Safety is a very complex area and to improve it the people that make policy need to be fully informed about the consequences of what they’re proposing,” said Snelling.

The other proposal mooted for discussion in today’s meeting is whether the LLCS could be extended to peak times.

London Councils is the member organisation that represents all 32 London boroughs and the City of London.