TfL is set to enforce the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) and tighten the London-wide Low Emission Zone (LEZ) from 1 March 2021, despite industry calls for both schemes to be further delayed during the pandemic.

Both schemes were delayed in April this year at the request of the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, who was concerned the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic would see hauliers struggling to become fully compliant by the deadline.

The haulage industry has been lobbying for a further delay. However TfL has confirmed this week that the two schemes will go ahead from March next year.

Natalie Chapman, Logistics UK’s head of urban policy, said the association had lobbied for a further delay.

“Therefore, given the immense financial and operational pressure the Covid-19 pandemic has placed on logistics businesses, we are disappointed to see the Mayor of London has not further delayed the introduction of both schemes.

“In order to meet the necessary requirements of the DVS scheme, a significant proportion of vehicles will need to have additional equipment fitted.

“However, there are no financial support packages to assist with DVS compliance which will make delivery of the Mayor’s Vision Zero strategy more costly during this difficult time.”

Chapman added that Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s announcement last week of a new funding package to be launched later this year to help HGV operators upgrade to less polluting vehicles was a positive move.

Details are still being finalised, but it is expected it will be in the form of a grant of around £15,000 for each polluting lorry, up to a maximum of three vehicles.

Chapman said: “Logistics UK does however welcome the launch of the HGV scrappage scheme which will aide small businesses, within the Greater London area, to upgrade their vehicles in order to comply with the tightening of the emissions standards for the LEZ.”