Over a third of HGVs operating or entering Greater London are not ready for the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) and HGV Permit Scheme which comes into force in October this year, according to a survey by fleet technology specialists CameraMatics.

The survey asked 700 fleet managers how prepared their fleets were for the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) and HGV Permit Scheme.

The new scheme will require all HGVs over 12 tonnes GVW to hold a valid permit to enter or operate in the Greater London area.

Of Greater London-based respondents, only 22.2% said their HGVs were ready for the scheme with 36.9% reporting that none of their HGVs are ready.

Another 14.7% said some of their vehicles were ready, whilst 26.9% were unsure.

Responses of non-London based HGV fleet managers were split along the same lines, with 39.1% reporting none of their HGVs are ready for DVS compared to just 20.1% reporting that their HGVs are ready. Another 12.7% said some of their vehicles are ready whilst 28% were unsure.

Following London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s decision to postpone the scheme until at least the end of February 2021 to give the freight industry more time to prepare in the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak, vehicles will not be fined until 1 March 2021.

However the new legislation will be in place as planned from October 2020 and TfL has yet to confirm when the ban will be applied, currently recommending operators “keep an eye” on the TfL website

Commenting on the survey results, CameraMatics technical director Steve Warne said: “It is concerning that so few HGV fleet managers are reporting their vehicles are ready for the Direct Vision Standard and HGV Permit Scheme.

“Some operators will find their vehicles are already compliant and simply need to apply online for their permit, but others will be given a zero-star rating.

“In this instance, a Safe System will need to be retrofitted to each vehicle so the operator can apply for, and receive, a permit.”

Warne added: “I would urge companies not to leave this until the last minute.

“March 2021 and enforcement of the new rules will be here before we know it and the run-up to the festive season is always a busy time for the freight and logistics industry.

“Our advice to fleet managers who are unsure or concerned would be to get the ball rolling now.”