London Councils is consulting on plans to require HGVs to install safety features by changing the conditions of the London Lorry Control Scheme.
The potential changes would require HGVs with a permit to fit side guards and extra mirrors to help improve safety, particularly for cyclists and other vulnerable road users.
British Cycling has been campaigning on HGV safety for the past couple of years, becoming increasingly concerned about the dangers they can pose to cyclists on the roads.
The issue was brought to light more recently following a spate of cycling deaths in London in November last year, which saw six cyclists killed in the space of two weeks. Five of the six incidents involved a truck, bus or coach. In 2013, 14 cyclists were killed on London’s roads, with nine of these fatalities involving HGVs.
The London Lorry Control Scheme restricts HGVs over 18 tonnes from using the majority of London roads between the hours of 9pm and 7am and from 1pm Saturday to 7am Monday. The aim of the scheme is to help minimise noise pollution in residential areas during unsocial hours through restricted use of roads.
The proposals would only affect those HGVs that obtain a permit but London Councils says that these vehicles are also used at other times of the day.
British Cycling Campaigns Manager, Martin Key, said: “There is a clear correlation between deaths of cyclists, particularly in London, and HGVs.
“Many of these vehicles aren’t fit for purpose and are putting cyclists at risk through no fault of their own.
“London Councils is taking a lead on this issue and now we would like to see government take action at a national level to ensure that all HGVs are required to have this crucial safety equipment.”