Scheme to improve safety for London’s most vulnerable road users could be in place by early next year
LONDON’s roads are set to become safer as Transport for London (TfL) and London Councils have begun their consultation on the Safer Lorries Scheme which will see a ban on lorries that do not have safety equipment to protect cyclists and pedestrians from the capital’s streets.
The Safer Lorries Scheme will use a combination of powers held by TfL and London boroughs to deliver a simple, quick and complete solution across all London roads.
The proposed ban will require every vehicle in London over 3.5 tonnes, which are involved in a disproportionate number of fatal collisions with cyclists and pedestrians, to be fitted with sideguards to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels in the event of a collision. It will also require them to be fitted with mirrors giving the driver a better view of cyclists and pedestrians around their vehicles.
The ban would operate across London 24 hours a day, seven days a week, covering the same area as the London Low Emission Zone. It would be enforced by on-street enforcement and, in the future, could move to CCTV cameras subject to further approval by the Department for Transport and London boroughs.
Subject to the outcome of the consultation and legal procedures, the ban could be in place by early 2015.
One of the Mayor and TfL’s top priorities is to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on London’s roads by 40% by 2020 and action is being taken to prioritize the safety of the most vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: ‘I have long been worried that a large number of cyclist deaths involve a relatively small number of problem lorries which are not fitted with safety equipment. My Safer Lorries Scheme would see those lorries effectively banned from our streets and the lives of thousands of cyclists and pedestrians would be much safer as a result. Vehicles that would be affected by this scheme can easily be retrofitted to comply and doing so will save lives.’
Earlier this year, the Construction Logistics and Cyclists Safety (CLOCS) standard was developed by TfL with key construction industry partners. It sets best practice for construction vehicles in terms of safety equipment and driver training and far exceeds any regulatory requirement.
London’s Transport Commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy CBE, said: ‘The proposed Safer Lorries Scheme is a further demonstration of how London is working with the freight industry to drive up safety standards. Many vehicles in London will already comply with this scheme, but by forcing the dangerous minority to follow suit, we can ensure that everyone is doing what they can to help make our roads as safe as possible.’