Just 5% of the traffic count - not around Canning Town during the daytime I think.

I had a meeting down at the nice shiny Siemens Crystal building just next to the Emirates cabel cars.  I can generally get a feel for the traffic mix as I'm cycling around and there were rather a lot of 32T rigids - mostly tippers, many without lifeguards, thumping around the underpasses and flyovers that seem to cover much of what was Canning Town like a giant Hotwheels track.

Just a few spot counts of vehicles rolling past and I was geting as reckoning that at that time of day, those tippers and the occasional big skip or concrete jigger were between 30 and 40% of the vehicle count.  Only when the time came for those people silos at Canary Wharf to empty did the car traffic come out to redress the balance to its generally promoted "5% of vehicles are HGV's" level, and indeed I got the impression that the HGV drivers all went for their tea between 16.00 and 18.00, just to avoid having to deal with adrenaline fuelled dealers and other high powered office workers working off their fight or flight fix from a day in the office, and generally being stymied by the massive traffic jams that only appear for those short periods twice a day. It actually makes it feel a lot safer riding down along the A13 between lines of near stationary cars, than using it outside the rush hour.

So the question I'm posing is has anyone had occasion to sit and do a bit of traffic watching in this area outside the rush hour, and get a feel for the % of HGV traffic at that time of day - my hunch is that it is a lot higher than 5%, and with the lack of speed regulating traffic congestion thia could make it more likely that HGV-cycle crashes occur outside the peak traffic periods.     


From where I'm sitting I have a clear view onto Lea Bridge Road, just before it meets Orient Way. In the last 5 minutes (ish) I saw 3 cycles, 50 cars/taxis, 21 vans (transit-type or smaller), 1 van (7.5t) 3 buses and 7 HGV/LGV/skip lorries.

This would put HGVs at just under 10% for the period I was watching on this specific road.

HOWEVER - to extrapolate from this 'quick look' would suggest there are no motorbikes or scooters in London, and very few buses. This shows my 'traffic survey' is not particularly useful, or representative of the city as a whole (which is what the 5% HGV figure supposedly represents). It's REALLY important that statistics like this are recorded correctly, and not just taken as being either correct, representative and significant. Surveys need to be repeated time and again to ensure as much accuracy as possible.

You also need to make sure you don't just look at HGV movements. Cyclist movement is probably more important in this context, so if you have a higher than 'average' number of cyclists between 16.00 and 18.00 they are less likely to involved in a collision with the lower than average number of HGVs. A rush-hour ban on HGVs is about balancing risk, and deciding whether it's acceptable to increase the risk to a small number of people if you reduce it for a much larger number of people. Personally I think it is.

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