London Lorry Control Scheme will be back from 1st June. RHA says, „it’s beyond belief”
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The London Lorry Control Scheme will come back into force on 1 June, after being suspended to support the supply of key goods during the coronavirus pandemic, announced London Councils last week. The Road Haulage Association says it’s beyond belief.
The reintroduction of the scheme comes as traffic volumes increase and supplies of key goods are returning to normal, London Councils explains their decision. According to their statement, all lorries will be able to travel wherever they need to under the scheme, which only restricts the largest lorries to prescribed routes during its hours of operation of 9 pm to 7 am on weekdays and 1 pm on Saturday to 7 am Monday over the weekend.
To give operators as much warning as possible, enforcement will be introduced gradually, with warning notices sent at first, followed by the reintroduction of penalty charges from 15 June” – added London Councils.
„It’s beyond belief”
Responding to the announcement, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “I find their decision to reintroduce enforcement controls at this extremely sensitive time to be beyond belief.
They were one of the first enforcement authorities in London to react to the COVID-19 emergency, suspending enforcement of the LLCS on 17 March 2020. Their action was welcomed by the freight and logistics industries, struggling to keep London’s essential shops and services supplied at time of severe food shortages and significant issues with deliveries.”
Following discussions with freight industry representatives, the London Councils decided to extend the suspension from the end of April until the end of May – a welcome move that was, of course, welcomed by the RHA.
Lockdown is beginning to ease but there is still a very long way to go”, said Richard Burnett. “To extend the suspension for another month would really help the industry that is trying to get back on the road as quickly as it can. But to reintroduce the Control Scheme with less than a week’s notice, amounts to little more than kicking an industry when it’s down.
About the London Lorry Scheme
The London Lorry Control Scheme (LLCS) controls the movement of heavy goods vehicles over 18 tonnes maximum gross weight. It operates at night and at weekends on specific roads in London helping to minimise noise pollution. Enforcement is carried out in residential areas during unsociable hours through restricted use of these roads.
According to RHA information, since Thursday 21 May 2020, enforcement officers have been observing lorries in the streets of London to collect data on HGV movements. These data will help London Councils to understand the current freight activity and compare information on pre COVID-19 activity. No enforcement would be undertaken at this time.
As London Councils informed the public, from Monday 1st June 2020 activities will be logged onto the London Lorry Control Scheme (LLCS) case management system and officers will process and assess these observations. Any possible breaches of the scheme will result in the issuance of a Warning Notice only, London Councils will take no further action at this time but will advise that continued use of this route without justification may result in future enforcement action. London Councils will issue Warning Notices for a period of two weeks.
Following the two-week period of issuing Warning Notices, the LLCS will revert to regular usual enforcement of the scheme on 15 June 2020 under the existing terms and conditions. However, LLCS officers will be available to discuss any specific issues operators have as a result of COVID-19 and arrange special routing requirements if necessary.
Photo: Can Pac Swire/ Flickr