From autumn 2010 through to spring 2011, we campaigned to make sure Mayor Boris Johnson, Transport for London and every borough council recognised the danger to London cyclists from lorries.
Lorries are involved in over half the cyclist fatalities in Greater London, even though they make up only 5% of the traffic.
Our five-point plan (see below) set out the measures necessary to reduce the danger to cyclists from lorries.
- Our campaign succeeded in persuading TfL to put lorry safety at the heart of its Cycle Safety Action Plan.
- In addition to that, all TfL lorry contractors now have to adhere to strict rules over training and lorry safety, meaning thousands more London lorry trips are safer for cyclists.
- We encouraged 10,000 Londoners to sign our petition calling for all council lorry drivers to receive on-bike cyclist-awareness training.
- Five councils have undertaken this kind of training (Camden, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Lambeth and Southwark), but too little is being done in too few boroughs, which is why we launched our Safer Lorries for Safer Cycling campaign in 2012.
In addition to these measures, cyclists must be given the most accurate and up-to-date information on riding safely around lorries.
- Introduce cyclist-awareness training for drivers
All lorry drivers should have on-bike cyclist-awareness training.
- Compel drivers to take more responsibility
Enforcement authorities should recognise drivers are responsible for doing everything they can to reduce risks. Blaming a ‘blind spot’ should be an admission of guilt.
- Compulsory safety features for all London lorries
The best mirrors and cameras/sensors should be fitted as standard to every lorry in London. We opposed moves to allow longer lorries drive in the UK.
- Higher standards from every lorry operator
Quality-assurance schemes such as London’s Freight Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) should be mandatory. Police must crack down on bad operators.
- All procurement to be made responsible
Companies should only buy haulage services from reputable firms, and the public sector must take a lead in encouraging best practice and safe haulage.