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More than two-thirds of trucks and vans stopped during London cycling clampdown were given the all clear

  • 17 February 2014
  • By Chris Druce

CV operators received 252 fixed penalty notices (FPNs), with 141 reported for summons, during the period that the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Safeway was in operation.

Data supplied to CM by the Met revealed that the force’s CV Unit and Joint Task Force stopped 1,279 CVs, of which 1,155 were HGVs, during this time.

From this, nearly 70% of CVs stopped were either fully compliant (414 stops) or instead received a verbal warning/advice (472 CVs), but did not require the sanction of an FPN or summons.

The data is drawn from the CV Unit’s year-round enforcement for comparison with Operation Safeway, which ran from 25 November 2013 until 10 January (after a week’s extension) but did not target HGVs.

During Operation Safeway, which focused on cyclists, car drivers, motorcyclists and light CVs (as well as buses and coaches), 13, 818 FPNs or summons were issued. This saw cyclists receive 4,085 FPNs or summons, while motorists were issued with 9,733 FPNs or summons.

It should be noted that no breakdown of the total number of each vehicle type (including cyclists) on the capital’s roads was available.  By the same token, while Operation Safeway was based on random checks at junctions, the CV Unit operates using targeted, intelliegence and incident-led information, which is often pre-planned, as well as conducting its own patrols.

RHA response

Jack Semple, director of policy at the Road Haulage Association, (RHA) said: “While the industry is not perfect, there has been clear mis-reporting of HGV checks in the press.

“The RHA welcomed the establishment of the HGV Task Force in London last year, as enforcement in the capital has historically been light,” he added.

“Often there is no mention that the checks on HGVs are targeted operations, nor explanation that some of the faults found are minor rather than serious compliance failures.”

  • The Joint Task Force is comprised of the MPS Road Traffic Unit, Safer Transport Command, DVSA (formerly Vosa and the DSA) and the City of London Police. Last year The Roads Task Force suggested as much as a quarter of traffic on the capital’s roads during rush hour were now bicycles, while Transport for London has estimated that around 70,000 HGVs enter the London Low Emission Zone on average each day.


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