Published: 30 January 2014
British Cycling has welcomed the Major of London and Transport for London’s move to ban lorries without cyclist-friendly safety equipment from London’s streets.
Transport for London (TfL) and local authorities have worked together to agree a new traffic regulation which will come into force by the end of 2014.
Welcoming the news, British Cycling’s campaigns manager, Martin Key, said: "There is a clear link between cyclist deaths, particularly in London, and HGVs. Over 50% of London’s cycling deaths last year involved a collision with a lorry.
"TfL is leading the way on sorting this out and today’s announcement is a significant step in our campaign to make cycling a more appealing form of transport for millions more people.
“The requirement that all HGVs are fitted with basic safety equipment may sound like an obvious move but the fact is that – despite the equipment being fitted as standard on most newer vehicles – thousands of lorries on the UK’s roads are not fit for purpose and are putting cyclists at risk. We hope local authorities across Britain follow suit and implement these regulations without delay.
“British Cycling would like to see government take action at a national level to ensure that all HGVs are required to have this crucial safety equipment. This includes supporting measures to improve vehicle design by improving drivers' direct line of sight."
The proposed ban will require every vehicle over 3.5 tonnes to be fitted with sideguards to protect cyclists from being dragged under wheels, as well as mirrors to improve a driver's view of cyclists and pedestrians.
It will be enforced by CCTV cameras and on-street checks.
Mayor Boris Johnson said a "hefty" charge would be levied against those not complying with the new regulation.
London's transport commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy, said: "London has long led the way in working with the freight industry to drive up standards, especially in terms of greater road safety, better driver training and reduced vehicle emissions.
"TfL will work with the London boroughs to deliver this proposed Safer Lorry Scheme and further demonstrate our commitment to safer roads for all."
HGVs have been involved in a number of fatal accidents with cyclists in recent years in London.
There were 14 cyclist deaths in London last year, nine involving HGVs.