30 September 2016
London Lorries Face Ban to Protect Cyclists
Thousands of lorries could be banned from London roads in a bid to improve cycling safety.
London mayor, Sadiq Khan, wants to introduce a rating system for HGVs based on how much the drivers can see from their cabs.
If the proposals go ahead, those with poor levels of vision could be banned by January 2020.
HGVs were involved in 23 per cent of pedestrian fatalities over the last two years and 58 per cent of cyclist deaths, the mayor's office said.
Nine cyclists and 66 pedestrians were killed in the capital last year, according to Transport for London.
Mr Khan told the Guardian: “I’m not prepared to stand by and let dangerous lorries continue to cause further heartbreak and tragedy on London’s roads.
“The evidence is clear: HGVs have been directly involved in over half of cycling fatalities over the last two years, and we must take bold action to make our roads safer for both cyclists and pedestrians.
“I’m determined to ensure the most dangerous zero-star rated lorries are removed from our roads completely by 2020.”
Under the proposals, lorries would be given a ranking of between zero and five stars and only those with three or more stars would be deemed safe on the roads.
Hauliers have hit back at the announcement, which could affect an estimated 35,000 HGVs currently operating in the capital.
Chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, Richard Burnett, said: “Demonising lorries, which keep the economy and shops going, is unfair.
“Lorries, including construction vehicles, play a vital part in the economic life of London. Without them, the capital's businesses would grind to a standstill.
“We want to bring balance to the argument. We're not convinced these measures are the solution.
“Improved visibility isn't going to sort the problem alone.”
The London Cycling Campaign welcomed the plans.
Spokesman, Tom Bogdanowicz, said: “Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers and operators of HGVs all stand to gain if modern designs with minimal blind spots become the norm for on-street use.
“No-one wants fatalities and life-changing injuries to continue to happen.”
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