Saturday, June 25

Lorries could be banned from city streets to make them safer for cyclists



Between 2008 and 2012 lorries were involved in 53 per cent of London cyclist deaths The Government is looking at restricting lorries in inner-city areas to improve the safety of roads for people on bikes and pedestrians.

David Cameron is said to have asked officials at the Department for Transport to examine whether some form of lorry ban would be feasible after a meeting with concerned MPs.

Other measures the Department for Transport will be asked to examine include staggered light phasing at junctions, design improvements for construction trade vehicles, and changes to road design.

Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston, who chairs the Health Select Committee, said there was a case for restricting lorries based on past casualties.

“Six out of seven of the deaths in London have been women killed by construction lorries at junctions,” she said.

“It’s so important that women are not deterred from cycling on safety grounds and there is far more that can be done to reduce the risks.”

HGVs are particularly dangerous for people on bikes because they are designed with a number of blind spots that make it difficult for drivers to see the area around the cab.

A disproportionate number of cycle fatalities involve the vehicles; between 2008 and 2012 lorries were involved in 53 per cent of London cyclist deaths

Mayor of London Boris Johnson previously looked at imposing a rush-hour lorry ban in London in 2013 but rejected the proposal. He said there was a danger that restrictions could simply lead to casualties being pushed outside the restricted hours.

Other major European cities like Paris and Dublin have banned lorries at rush hour as a safety measure. Segregated cycle lanes and more reliable infrastructure are also standard methods of keeping people on bikes safe.

Labour MP Ben Bradshaw said the PM had been receptive to ideas during his meeting with the MPs, who are members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cycling.

“Our major cities have a lamentable record both for levels of cycling and for cycle safety compared to those of our European neighbours, and it would take very little public investment to make a big improvement in the climate for cycling,” he said.

“Following our meeting today, we will be meeting with the Transport Secretary to discuss the issues in more detail.”

The push by the MPs comes after a series of high profile deaths in London of people cycling. Mass protests, including so-called ‘die-ins’ have been held to draw attention to the issue.