Agreement allows TfL to provide details of vehicles to VOSA
TfL and the VOSA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for closer collaboration and data sharing as part of their work to reduce the impact of dangerous and unroadworthy vehicles in London.
The agreement allows TfL to provide details of every commercial vehicle involved in breakdowns and overheight collisions within Blackwall Tunnel to VOSA. Currently, TfL writes to the owner (rather than the driver) of a commercial vehicle which causes an incident within the Blackwall Tunnel. However, this is only possible where the owner’s details appear in the livery of a vehicle, which often only occurs in a handful of cases.
By providing the vehicle details to VOSA, more direct and appropriate action can be taken against the owners of these vehicles. This can range from future enforcement activity to referral of the operator to the Traffic Commissioner, helping to further change driver behaviour across London.
In addition, TfL has invested in a new site office on the Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach, which will be used by VOSA and the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to carry out enforcement activity. A new automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) and weighin- motion system has also been installed on the A2 to identify potentially overweight vehicles in advance of approaching the tunnel.
Since September 2011, officers from the MPS Safer Transport Command Roads Policing Unit have been permanently based at the Blackwall Tunnel. This dedicated team provides an immediate response to incidents, such as breakdowns and accidents, occurring in or around the tunnel.
More than 3000 vehicles have been inspected by officers in the last 20 months, of which more than 400 were found to be overweight. Vehicles identified as potentially overweight will then be accurately weighed and inspected at the new site office.
Illegally overweight vehicles not only cause damage to the structure of the road, especially bridges and tunnels, causing unnecessary disruption to road users, but also can severely damage the steering, suspension and brakes of the vehicle.
Removing overweight vehicles from the road network will help reduce the disruption these vehicles can create across London.