Lorry safety crack down for London welcomed by CTC

Lorries pose a serious risk to cyclists in urban areas

Lorry safety crack down for London welcomed by CTC

A package of measures announced today by Transport Minister Stephen Hammond and London Mayor Boris Johnson to help make cycling conditions safer in the capital is good news, says CTC.

CTC and other groups have long been calling for a tougher approach on lorries in London and elsewhere, so moves to tackle the disproportionate risk that these vehicles pose to cyclists are particularly welcome.

The commitments outlined today for the capital include the establishment of a new task force that will be able to take direct action against dangerous HGVs; calling on the EU to speed up its review on lorry design to make it easier for drivers to see cyclists and pedestrians; and a look at levying a ‘safer lorry charge’ on any HGV which is not fitted with basic safety equipment to protect cyclists.

It’s also reassuring to see that exemplary interaction between lorry drivers and cyclists will be promoted by working with cycle trainers and the freight industry – the more drivers who are trained in cycle awareness, the more likely they will be to understand cyclists’ manoeuvres and to interact with them safely.

It’s good to see the DfT and the Mayor taking steps to deal with the threat that lorries pose to cyclists in London. The cycling boom in the city is impressive – it deserves a sustained political commitment, and the funding to match, to make conditions as safe as they possibly can be.

Roger Geffen,
CTC Campaigns and Policy Director

The Department for Transport (DfT) also intends to review the current regulations that exempt some construction and waste carrying lorries from being fitted with side guards designed to stop cyclists and pedestrians from being dragged underneath the vehicle in the event of a collision.

CTC also wants to see officials seriously consider other measures that could reduce the number of cyclists’ lives tragically lost in collision with lorries. These include bans on lorry traffic in busy urban areas. Our briefing on Goods Vehicles looks at this and the full range of options to tackle the lorry risk in more detail.

The announcement  came at the same time as news that a cyclist died in a crash with a lorry in West Dulwich.

CTC is appalled that yet another cyclist has been killed in London. Incredibly, the Freight Transport Association said after the announcement that HGV operators don't know what they are trying to achieve. They should be doing everything in their power to stop killing cyclists, and if they find that too difficult they have no place in our cities.

Gordon Seabright 
CTC Chief Executive

Complaint issued to the FTA

In a press release issued in response to the Government's announcement, the Freight Transport Association - which represents HGV operators, said: "Unless you also improve the behaviour of cyclists, the problem will not improve in the way that everyone wants."

In response to the FTA's comments, CTC's Chief Executive Gordon Seabright has written to the FTA Chief Executive Theo de Pencier to point out that lorries are the sources of danger - with almost half of lorries observed to be breaking the speed limit in urban areas and one in forty drivers illegally using mobile phones.

Download a copy of Gordon's letter below.

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