London DVS hidden deadline puts HGV operators at risk

Operators running HGVs into London are being warned of a “hidden deadline” to apply for a permit under the forthcoming Direct Vision Standard (DVS).

Goods vehicles over 12 tonnes GVW will require a DVS permit to enter the capital from March, based on a star rating indicating how much a driver can see from the cab.

Enforcement of the standard has been delayed due to the upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Brigade Electronics said there is an unwritten deadline of 31 January - because fleet operators must allow scheme operator TfL 28 days to approve or reject applications.

Emily Hardy, Brigade’s marketing manager, said: “This deadline does not allow for time if your application is rejected, so applications must be sent out in good time to avoid liability headaches down the line.

“An additional factor is that some manufacturers are taking two weeks to respond to star rating enquiries, so fleet managers need to factor in an additional deadline date of January 2021.”

Hardy said that a failure to plan ahead could mean companies’ vehicles not being recognised by the ANPR cameras and facing subsequent penalty charges.

The industry has lobbied for a further delay to the DVS due to concerns that hauliers would struggle to become fully compliant by the deadline.

However, TfL confirmed in September that both the DVS and the London-wide Low Emission Zone will go ahead from March 2021.