Cyclists need more protection from HGVs, say campaigners

London Cycling Campaign, CTC, the national cyclists’ organisation, and RoadPeace, the charity for road crash victims, welcome Transport for London’s new “Share the Road” awareness campaign to inform lorry drivers and cyclists of what they can do to minimise the risks of cyclists being injured by HGVs. However, the three organisations say that far more needs to be done, by local and national Government, police and hauliers alike to tackle a very serious problem.

LCC, CTC and Roadpeace are calling on the Government and local authorities to take immediate steps to reduce the danger of HGVs to pedestrians, cyclists and bikers, such as

  • Enforcing the law against careless and negligent driving

  • Improving the level of training for all HGV drivers

  • Introducing life-saving mirrors on all lorries as has been done in Denmark,  Belgium and the Netherlands

  • Excluding the most dangerous HGVs from busy city roads

  • Increasing in the number of freight consolidation centres where large lorries can transfer goods to smaller vehicles for delivery in urban areas 

Charlie Lloyd of the London Cycling Campaign said: “Lives are being lost needlessly, because drivers are not looking in the right place at the right time – we need urgent action to ensure more careful driving, and a requirement to fit effective mirrors on all lorries."

Roger Geffen of CTC said: “The number of collisions between cyclists and HGVs is mercifully small, but when they do occur, there is a high risk that they will prove fatal.  CTC is pleased to support Transport for London’s “Share the Road” initiative, but posters and stickers can only do so much.  Good cycle training can make a real difference in helping cyclists and would-be cyclists to avoid collisions in the first place, by positioning themselves on the road where they can clearly see and be seen. But there is far more that needs doing to tackle this problem and Government, police and hauliers themselves must all play their parts too."

Cynthia Barlow of RoadPeace said: "The number of cyclists killed by lorries each year is absolutely unacceptable. These deaths do not need to happen. If lorry operators provided appropriate focussed training for drivers, and the appropriate design and engineering solutions for the lorries, we could prevent the tragedy of so many deaths and serious injuries. It is vital that both operators and drivers accept their responsibility to ensure the safety of vulnerable road users on the public roads."