The prospect of more devolved British cities effectively imposing their own versions of the Construction & Use Regulations on truck operators alarmed senior truck manufacturer representatives at the Microlise Transport Conference last month, as uncertainty continued over the detail of the capital’s own direct vision standard.
Martin Flach, Iveco’s director of alternative fuels, slammed the lack of clarity from Transport for London on its postulated star-ratings and regulations for direct vision from truck cabs, saying there was still no substantive guidance on what was expected.
“We’ve had nothing from Transport for London or Loughborough University on what the criteria for the various star ratings might be, so we can take no action. If they delay any longer we might not have time to make the changes that they want,” he told delegates at the event.
“I’m not convinced that direct vision is the answer as it can overload the driver. An autonomous system such as we have already for advanced emergency braking systems (AEBS) would be better.”
Laurence Drake, business planning director for DAF Trucks, said he was wary that different cities would impose different rules of cab design, meaning a ‘Manchester’ truck might be different to a ‘London’ truck.
He said: “The city and municipal market is a key one for us at DAF, as it is for Iveco. Legislators: please tell us where you want to be in five years’ time. And also, please explain, when does a standard become a law?”
Scania aftersales director Mark Grant added: “We need a single vision standard for the UK that we can build to, otherwise operators are going to have to pay more for different designs for different cities.”
Vehicles are increasingly being designed with future compliance with London’s direct vision standard in mind, such as this low-entry, high-vision Renault Range D day cab with additional window panel, developed for Veolia (pictured, right).