We have a new website Try it now Hide
 Login Register for free news, tips & videos

Urgent action needed to make our roads safer, says British Cycling

Share |

Updated: 14 November 2013

Following the deaths of six cyclists and two others seriously injured in the last nine days in England, British Cycling is urging the government and local authorities to take urgent action to make the roads safer and address cyclists’ needs.

Urgent action needed on HGVs, says British Cycling

"We need to see immediate changes to the law so that from now on heavy goods vehicles are designed so that drivers have much better direct line of sight."

British Cycling Campaigns Manager Martin Key

Five of the deaths occurred in London and one in Nantwich.

Commenting on the news, British Cycling’s Campaigns Manager, Martin Key, said: "While cyclist deaths are rare, it is clearer than ever that national government and councils must take urgent action on designing roads that address cyclists' needs.

"The fact that five cyclists have been killed in London in the last nine days is shocking news and an urgent investigation needs to take place into what could have been done to prevent these deaths.

"Clearly, cycling is becoming a more and more popular way to get around and local authorities need to respond to that by prioritising it as a legitimate form of transport, including urgently tackling the most dangerous roads and junctions and banning HGVs that aren't fitted with the latest safety features.

"We have to do a better job of looking after each other on the roads. That includes significant investment in a nationwide cyclist awareness campaign rather than a few posters in a handful of cities. This is about changing the culture of how people get around, making cycling a more attractive and safer option for millions of people across Britain."

Of the six cyclists that were killed in England in the last nine days, three of the incidents involved lorries and the other three involved buses.

Martin Key, added: “We need to remove dangerous HGVs from our roads. That includes immediate changes to the law so that from now on heavy goods vehicles are designed so that drivers have much better direct line of sight. We are also calling for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes to be fitted with appropriate mirrors before being deemed roadworthy, with absolutely no exceptions.

“Britain can learn lessons from Paris and Dublin too – where lorries are banned from city centre roads during peak commuting hours. The Mayor of London promised months ago to look at restricting the movements of HGVs in London during peak hours. This work needs to be prioritised.”

HGVs currently account for approximately 20% of all cycling casualties with this figure rising to a staggering 50% in London. This is despite the fact that lorries account for just 5% of traffic on the roads. More detail on why lorry restrictions are needed is available here.