The London Lorry Control Scheme (LLCS) controls the movement of heavy goods vehicles (HGV) over 18 tonnes maximum gross weight. It operates at night and at weekends on specific roads in London helping to minimise noise pollution. Enforcement is carried out in residential areas during unsociable hours through restricted use of these roads. The scheme has been in place since 1985 under the Greater London (Restriction of Goods Vehicles) Traffic Order 1985 and is enforced utilising the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2003. London Councils manages the Traffic Order on behalf of 31 London boroughs, the City of London and on the Transport for London Road Network.
The scheme was decriminalised in April 2004, with the requirement for operators to have permission for each of their vehicles continuing. In January 2010 London Councils reviewed the need for issuing physical permits and simply granted virtual permits by letter.
The LLCS is often, mistakenly, referred to as the lorry ban, when it is actually a control which serves to manage the environmental impact of HGV journeys in London. If hauliers need to gain access via a restricted road, each vehicle will require a permission to carry out deliveries/collections within the hours of control. All journeys can be undertaken by using a compliant route in line with the Traffic Order which is designed to ensure that goods vehicles over 18 tonnes maximum gross weight obtain a permission to use the restricted roads during the prescribed hours of the scheme.
Permissions will only be granted subject to the hauliers need to make use of the restricted roads, if a journey can be undertaken making complete use of the Excluded Route Network (ERN) or the HGV weighs less than 18 tonnes, then a permission will not be required.
The decriminalisation of the scheme meant that the operator and the driver no longer faced criminal prosecution, instead under the civil regime, Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) are issued.
The cost of the Operator PCN is at a higher rate of £550 and the driver PCN is at the lower rate of £130 with a prompt payment reduction of 50% if paid within 14 days. The recipient of a PCN can make a challenge and may be given the opportunity to appeal their case with an independent adjudicator at London Tribunals.
Excluded and Restricted Roads
Not all roads in London are controlled by the scheme, there is a core network of routes, usually trunk roads and similar, along which HGVs can travel at any time without needing permission to do so. These roads are known as the ERN. The roads on which the scheme applies are known as Restricted Roads.
During the controlled hours of the scheme, goods vehicles with permission must travel along the ERN to the closest point of their destination. The journey must be completed by using the shortest distance along restricted roads. Hauliers without permission should not use the restricted roads at all or risk receiving a PCN.
Operational hours of the scheme
The scheme’s primary aim is to assist with minimising noise pollution in residential areas in London during the prescribed hours of:
- Monday - Friday: 9pm - 7am (including 9pm Friday night to 7am Saturday morning)
- Saturday: 1pm - 7am Monday morning
- Normal restrictions apply during public and bank holidays
Local Authority Restrictions
Some Hauliers may feel they encounter barriers due to the loading/unloading restrictions imposed by a local authority at the destination point. There are planning conditions that should be taken into account prior to the arrangement of a delivery/collection. These can be quite stringent at night and in the early morning. London Councils has no influence over how and where these, often location specific, regulations are implemented. The recipient of your delivery/collection should provide you with details of the local authority restrictions.
Many authorities have introduced Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) and/or school safety zone restrictions that are designed to improve safety, reduce traffic on residential roads and improve air quality. This may have an impact on accessibility and routes taken to reach destinations due to road closures. Vehicle Operators will need to check borough websites to see the impact and accessibility requirements where schemes are operating.