LCC campaigners ride with a 'direct vision' lorry to end lorry danger
- By rosie_lcc on at 3:06pm 1 September 2015
- Posted in: News and blogs
- Tagged with: hgvs, lorries, campaigns
On the day of the Safer Lorry scheme launch, LCC campaigners went for a ride with a 'direct vision' lorry to demonstrate the improved visibility of cyclists that these vehicles offer.
Our day started off at Marble Arch for Transport for London's launch event for the scheme, where our lorries expert Charlie Lloyd gave a number of interviews on the need for direct vision lorries and improved driver vision. We've been calling for much stronger action from the Mayor to put an end to lorry danger. In the first half of 2015, seven out of the eight cyclist fatalities in London involved large lorries. We've stated that the Mayor’s Safer Lorry scheme doesn’t do enough to address the issue, as it will only require lorries to have basic safety equipment, which most lorries on London’s roads already do.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson arrived to inspect the vehicles, and to talk about future plans for the scheme. While the current scheme contains no requirements for freight operators to use lorries with improved direct vision - merely safety mirrors which do not solve the problem of the 'lorry blind spot' - the Mayor has today announced plans to retrofit side windows which give drivers a better view of cyclists near their vehicle, and has promised to fit glass doors to all lorries working for the Greater London Authority, Transport for London and Crossrail. We'd like to see a commitment from the Mayor to only use direct vision lorries, but we're really pleased that our message about the poor visibility that most lorries offer is being picked up - huge thanks to the thousands of supporters who've signed our petition to end lorry danger.
After the Mayor's interviews we set off on our bikes, being filmed riding alongside the lorry and taking snaps of our own from the back of a tandem. It's much easier to see the driver of a direct vision lorry compared to a conventional lorry, and for the driver to see us too.
Our route took us through Victoria, where tragically 36-year-old Claire Hitier-Abadie was killed after being hit by a construction lorry which was turning left from Bressenden Place into Victoria Street in February of this year.
We met more LCC campaigners - and more media - at Lambeth Bridge North, another location where a life has been lost to a lorry this year. London arts visionary Moira Gemmill was killed by a lorry at this location in April 2015.
LCC believes that as well as safer lorries, our most dangerous junctions - like Lambeth Bridge North - must be urgently redesigned to make them safer for cycling. In addition, safe passage for cyclists and pedestrians during construction or roadworks must be made a priority.
Huge thanks to everyone who's supported our campaign to End Lorry Danger - with your support, we can and will get lethal lorries off London's roads.