UK

Cycling Safety Measures To Be Enforced On HGVs And Lorries In London

30/01/2014 15:08 GMT | Updated 30/01/2014 15:59 GMT

Safety campaigners scored a huge victory on Thursday as it was announced Lorries without safety equipment to protect cyclists and pedestrians are to be banned from travelling through London.

Transport for London (TfL) and local authorities have joined forces to agree a new traffic regulation, which will come into force by the end of the year.

The proposed ban will require every vehicle over 3.5 tonnes to be fitted with side guards to protect cyclists from being dragged under wheels, as well as mirrors to improve a driver's view of cyclists and pedestrians.

Story continues after the slideshow...

Safe Cycling Cities London Could Learn From

CCTV cameras and on-street checks will enforce it.

Mayor Boris Johnson said a "hefty" charge would be levied against those not complying with the new regulation.

London's transport commissioner Sir Peter Hendy said: "London has long led the way in working with the freight industry to drive up standards, especially in terms of greater road safety, better driver training and reduced vehicle emissions.

"TfL will work with the London boroughs to deliver this proposed Safer Lorry Scheme and further demonstrate our commitment to safer roads for all."

HGVs have been involved in a number of fatal accidents with cyclists in recent years in London.

There were 14 cyclist deaths in London last year, nine involving HGVs.

Penny Knight, head of the cycling team at law firm Leigh Day, which represents British Cycling members, said: "These measures will be welcomed. However, it is just a shame that they did not come soon enough to save those cyclists and pedestrians who have died under the wheels of lorries in London.

"We still believe that more needs to be done around the infrastructure of the City to ensure cyclists and pedestrians are safe. No one measure will solve this problem.

"It will be a wholesale re-imagining of what travel should look like in London which will lead to no more innocent lives being lost on our roads."

British Cycling's campaigns manager Martin Key said: "There is a clear link between cyclist deaths, particularly in London, and HGVs. Over 50% of London's cycling deaths last year involved a collision with a lorry.

"TfL is leading the way on sorting this out and today's announcement is a significant step in our campaign to make cycling a more appealing form of transport for millions more people.

"The requirement that all HGVs are fitted with basic safety equipment may sound like an obvious move but the fact is that - despite the equipment being fitted as standard on most newer vehicles - thousands of lorries on the UK's roads are not fit for purpose and are putting cyclists at risk. We hope that local authorities across Britain follow suit and implement these regulations without delay."

German Dector-Vega, London director of cycling group Sustrans, said: "This is a simple but very useful step forward that will place cycle safety at the forefront of the freight industry and although much more needs to be done, it shows what we achieve when we join forces.

"We are convinced this is just the beginning of many more changes to come."