On 29th July Transport for London and the London Councils began their consultation on the new Safer Lorries Scheme which plans to ban lorries which do not have the necessary safety equipment in the city. The hope is that the ban on lorries will protect cyclists and pedestrians in the capital city.
The new scheme is planning to use a combination of the powers of Transport for London and London Burroughs to ensure a quick and easy solutions is rolled out across the city’s roads. Although not yet approved the proposed ban is designed to ensure all vehicles in London over 3.5 tonnes are fitted with side guards to protect cyclists from being dragged underneath when a collision occurs. Vehicles of this size are disproportionately involved in accident with cyclists and pedestrians, particularly those of a fatal outcome. They will also be required to be fitted with additional mirrors which will allow drivers to have a better view of cyclists and pedestrians around the vehicle.
In the past couple of months we have talked regularly about HGVs and the dangers for cyclists on the road and it appears it has been at the forefront of government and media’s minds too. Speaking about the consultation the Mayor of London highlighted his worries about the cyclist deaths in the city and how the large number of deaths seemed disproportionate to the small number of unsafe lorries in the area. The Safer Lorries scheme which he is championing is designed to ensure this issue is solved and he reported that companies including Sainsbury’s had already taken his campaign on board and ensured their vehicles were compliant.
London’s transport commissioner has also highlighted how important this new safety change could be. He also highlighted that the Safer Lorries Scheme is further evidence of the freight industry and the city of London could work together to improve safety standards across the board.
Safer Lorries Nationally
Of course accident figures in the capital are much higher than other areas of the country but we’re sure the local councils and mayors of other UK cities will be watching closely to see how successful Boris Johnson’s scheme is. If it works there will surely be similar ideas rolled out across other cities, helping ensure urban roads across the country are safer for cyclists and those on foot. Anything which is designed to reduce the danger on the roads for any road users is a positive in our minds. We hear hundreds of road traffic accident cases every year and see the situations hundreds of clients are left in after an accident. We want to see the numbers fall and we want to see the roads safer and this scheme in London could be the start of an improvement for the whole of the country.