10,000 sign petition calling for cycle training for London lorry drivers

CEO Ashok Sinha hands our petition to Assembly Members representing the four main parties photo Belinda Sinclair

More than 10,000 people have signed LCC's petition calling for all London councils to provide cyclist-awareness training for their lorry drivers.

The petition was presented to London Assembly members representing the four major parties on Wednesday 18 May 2011 at City Hall.

It is being handed to Mayor Boris Johnson by Conservative Assembly Member, and the Mayor’s cycling advocate, Andrew Boff.

LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha presented the petition to:

  • Liberal Democrat Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon
  • Labour member Valerie Shawcross
  • Green member Jenny Jones
  • Conservative member Andrew Boff

Caroline Pidgeon said, "Cycling in London needs to be made far safer. More than one cyclist a month dies on London's roads - that is a shocking figure and is unacceptable.

"The Mayor is always talking about promoting cycling but the harsh fact is that much more needs to be done to tackle the dangers facing cyclists."

Valarie Shawcross said, "I support the campaign to provide lorry drivers with cyclist-awareness training as it has proved to be hugely successful in my constituency.

"It would be a step forward if other boroughs got involved, as it would reduce road danger to vulnerable users."

Sinha said: "Cyclists and other road users have supported our petition for lorry driver training in huge numbers – we trust that politicians in every London council as well the Mayor now respond to this call for action."

Signatories of the petition include Olympians Chris Boardman, Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton as well as Lords Berkley and Haskell and MPs Ian Austin and Simon Hughes.

Following LCC lobbying, the number of councils in Greater London providing the training has increased from one to five.

Lambeth Council pioneered the training programme which enables lorry drivers to experience urban cycling and helps them understand the cycle user’s perspective.

Exchanging places sessions are also provided for cyclists who have the opportunity to get in a lorry cab.

LCC is lobbying for the training scheme to be included as part of the regular professional training received by lorry drivers and that it is included in the Transport for London FORS (Freight Operators Recognition Scheme) quality standard scheme that 21 boroughs have already signed up to.

LCC's campaigns officer, and former HGV driver, Charlie Lloyd said, "LCC is urging those who run the FORS quality standard for lorry operators to include ‘on-bike’ training in the urban driver training package they provide for members.

"Every council and every lorry operator should become part of the FORS scheme because membership can help them reduce the number of collisions on our roads.”

Further information

  1. Lorries have been involved in 50% of cyclist collisions in London in recent years, even though they make up only 5% of traffic.
  2. Recent investment in cycle training, getting cyclists to sit in lorry cabs and TfL safety campaigns have all raised the awareness of cyclists to the risk caused by large lorries.
  3. LCC is asking the Mayor to lobby the government to approve ‘on-bike’ cycle training for lorry drivers. That is the most cost effective way of raising awareness – and the drivers enjoy it.
  4. All lorry drivers are required to have some sort of in-service training, including ‘cyclist awareness’ can be achieved at no extra cost.
  5. The petition is being handed to leading members of the London Assembly Transport Scrutiny Committee who support the measure:
    - Andrew Boff (Conservative): Mayor’s Cycling Ambassador
    - Caroline Pidgeon (Liberal Democrat) Chair Transport Committee
    - Valerie Shawcross (Labour) Deputy Chair Transport Committee
    - Jenny Jones (Green Party) Transport Committee