Transport for London (TfL) has set out plans to make lorries safer for cyclists.
A document entitled ‘Safer Lorry Scheme – The Way Forward’ states that every vehicle in London over 3.5 tonnes must be fitted with sideguards and that it will require them to be fitted with mirrors. This will be enforced by CCTV cameras and on-street checks, subject to approval by the Department for Transport (DfT).
The proposed scheme includes a pan-London Traffic Regulation Order which would ban HGVs not fitted with the required safety equipment from driving on London’s roads, and states that this should apply to all vehicles over 3.5 tonnes.
Christopher Snelling from the Freight Transport Association said: “These proposals will affect anything larger than a transit van and are not targeted, as we believe they should be, at construction traffic. Many large vans and small HGVs would in fact fall foul of other legislation if they fitted additional mirrors as their cabs are too low and pedestrians and cyclists would be at risk of being struck by these low mirrors.
“FTA considers that one of the best uses of TfL’s time and money would be to maintain a higher level of enforcement against poor quality HGV operators and we will recommend that approach to them in our response.”
However, Sean McGrae, senior national transport manager at Lafarge Tarmac welcomed the news.
He said: “We welcome the introduction of a ban on HGVs in London that do not have cycle-safe features. This is an important step to providing much improved protection for vulnerable road users on the capital’s roads.
“However, we see work related road risk as a nationwide issue and it is now vitally important that a consistent fleet standard for cycle-safe HGV fleets is adopted on a national scale. This requires all parties - clients, the construction sector and the cycling community – to work together to achieve this. Failure to adopt a consistent national standard would be impractical and will not achieve the best safety results.”