London launches new freight enforcement partnership to tackle unsafe HGV operators on capital’s roads

A new enforcement unit has been launched in the capital to step-up efforts to target non-compliant HGV operators.

The London Freight Enforcement Partnership, was officially launched today and will see representatives from the capital’s police forces, Transport for London (TfL), the DVSA and the freight industry working collaboratively to tackle rogue operators.

It is expected that the combined approach will build on the work of existing enforcement initiatives established in recent years, including the Industrial HGV Task Force and Commercial Vehicle Units, to enable shared intelligence at both a strategic and tactical level.

The new enforcement unit will include more than 90 DVSA and police officers and a team of analysts, sharing data and carrying out joint enforcement operations.

Sir Peter Hendy, former head of TfL and now chairman of Network Rail, has been appointed to chair the London Freight Enforcement Partnership. He said at the launch: “Working in a partnership, with shared expertise and intelligence, will help deliver even greater enforcement against rogue and unsafe freight operators who continue to not comply with the law and with the regulations.”

The London Freight Enforcement Partnership will use technology such as automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology for targeting vehicles and feeding reports about identified operator and driver non-compliance to the Office of the Traffic Commissioners.

London and South East traffic commissioner, Nick Denton, said: “As the industry regulator for HGV operators, I have seen the value of the Industrial HGV Task Force first hand in the many licence holders who have been brought to my attention due to their failure to meet basic vehicle and driver safety standards.

“I therefore welcome the formation of this new enforcement partnership, which aims to build on the work of the task force, and shares two of the key objectives of the traffic commissioners – to reduce the burden on compliant operators and deal with those who pose the greatest risk to road safety.”

This month also marks the second anniversary of the Industrial HGV Task Force, a joint partnership between TfL, DVSA, the Metropolitan Police Service and City of London Police to drive a reduction in the minority of non-compliant vehicles, drivers and operators using London’s roads through intelligence-led enforcement action. The dedicated team run regular on-street enforcement operations to help build up an intelligence picture on the most dangerous commercial vehicles and operators.

Since October 2013, more than 6,030 vehicles have been targeted and stopped, 87 vehicles seized, 4,500 prosecutions progressed through the Criminal Justice System and 2,134 fixed penalty notices issued for offences including:

  • Lack of insurance
  • Driving without the correct licence
  • Unsafe tyres
  • Vehicle not equipped with cycle safeguards
  • Not accurately recording driver hours