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What You Need to Know Before Driving an HGV in London

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If you’re on the hunt for a new career, a position as an HGV driver in London could be just what you need. With demand higher than ever in the UK, trained professionals have the opportunity to leverage better wages and more opportunities.

Of course, as lucrative, and versatile as HGV driving can be, it has its challenges too. Driving a large vehicle in London is a world away from driving anywhere else in the UK. Before you dive into your new role as an HGV master, you’ll need to make sure you’re aware of the various rules and regulations associated specifically with London driving.

1.    The Lorry Control Scheme

The London Lorry Control Scheme is an important factor to be aware of when you’re driving an HGV in London. This set of regulations was implemented by the London councils, to help stop HGVs weighing eighteen tonnes or over from causing problems for residential areas.

While height and weight restrictions abound throughout London, this common rule is one of the most important things you’ll need to be aware of when planning your routes. Most HGVs weighing over 18 tonnes will not be able to drive through residential roads in the evenings and at weekends. Certain roads may also be off-limits to you. Remember, there’s a gross weight limit on all lorries, within central areas, of 7.5 tonnes too.

2.    Congestion Charges

Congestion is a significant problem in London, and an issue the government are trying to reduce. You’ll have more congestion to worry about in the capital than anywhere else in the country, so make sure you factor this into your delivery times and schedules. The congestion charge is also something you’ll need to prepare for.

Congestion charges apply based on the kind of vehicle you’re driving and its emissions. Sometimes, an HGV or lorry can incur a charge of around £100 per day in the Low Emissions Zone.

3.    The HGV Safety Permit and Direct Vision Standard

These concepts were only introduced in March 2021, so many HGV drivers are still getting accustomed to them. The Direct Vision Standard and the HGV safety permit were created to address various road safety challenges in London. With the Direct Vision Standard, the focus is on determining how much of a road a driver should be able to see through a window.

The HGV safety permit, on the other hand, is a form of permit which all lorries over 12 tonnes must carry whenever travelling in London. You can apply for one of these permits for free.

4.    Bike Safety Issues

With so much congestion to worry about, many residents in London prefer to get around by bike. Cyclists can skip the traffic in much of the capital city, but they’re also a source of surprise for a lot of drivers – particularly those not paying attention. The Mayor of London therefore introduced a £915 million scheme known as the Cycle Safety Action plan to fight against bike accidents.

The action plan aims to reduce casualties to cyclists in the capital city by 40%. To ensure you’re abiding by the rules of this scheme, you may need to complete the TfL course for safe driving to help you stay compliant.

Ready to Become an HGV Driver in London?

Though there are various rules and restrictions to be aware of when driving a HGV in London, it’s still a career well worth your consideration. Once you have your HGV license, you’ll be able to earn a significant wage, while exploring the wonderful locations the capital has to offer.

With our support and training, you’ll be able to manage London’s roads with no issues.

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