LCC local groups highlight growing gap between best and worst councils' for lorry-cycling safety

This week London Cycling Campaign staff and volunteers are taking to the streets outside borough town halls (see Tower Hamlets above) to protest against the growing gap between the lorry safety standards of the best and worst boroughs in the capital.

LCC lorry expert Charlie Lloyd said:

"According to our extensive research, the gap between the standards of the best authorities such as the City of London and Southwark and the worst such as Tower Hamlets and Richmond has grown to an unacceptable level.

"It's now possible to stand at the start of Cycle Superhighway 3 on Royal Mint Street, and have the safest lorries and drivers in the City operating in the streets to your left, while the worst in the capital are driving in the borough just a few metres away in Tower Hamlets."

"All councils have a duty to ensure taxpayers, especially vulnerable cyclists and pedestrians, only have to share roadspace with the safest lorries and drivers."

The Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling actions are taking place outside town halls including Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Wandsworth.

Some of these actions will congratulate councils (see Waltham Forest above) that have taken the pledge, while others will name and shame the worst councils in London.

Waltham Forest LCC borough coordinator Gerhard Weiss said:

"We're delighted that Waltham Forest Council has pledged to reach the best standards of lorry safety.We will work closely with the council to help put the pledge into tangible action reducing road dnager in our borough.

"Waltham Forest and the other councils who've taken the pledge are a great example to those who are not taking lorry safety seriously enough."

The Wandsworth Environment Forum presented an open letter to councillors (image below). In it several organisations lend their support to Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling, including Wandsworth Cycling Campaign, Age UK, Living Streets, the Putney Society, Friends of the Earth, the Wandsworth Older People's Forum and the Wandsworth Society.

It demonstrates that Safer Lorries is not just an issue on the minds of cycle campaigners. Many residents, on two wheels or not, have an accute awareness of the danger presented by large lorries and are clearly keen to minimise that danger.

Five councils have so far committed to only using the best-trained drivers and the best-equipped lorries: City of London, Croydon, Islington, Southwark and Waltham Forest.

Six councils have been rated 'worst in London' by the London Cycling Campaign's lorry experts: Barking & Dagenham, Barnet, Kingston, Richmond and Tower Hamlets. 

Fifty percent of cyclist fatalities in London involve lorries, as do a large proportion of pedestrian deaths, and councils are one of the key freight operators in Greater London.

Supporters are encouraged to write to their council leader calling on them to take LCC's Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling pledge.