Sadiq Khan is planning to ban thousands of lorries from London’s road to bring down cyclist deaths.
The London Mayor said lorries drivers’ limited field of vision was why they were involved in the deaths of so many cyclist.
He has pledged to rate the lorries using a five-star system, based on how much the driver can see, and outlaw the most dangerous by 2020. Only three-star lorries and above will be permitted by 2024.
There are around 35,000 lorries in the most dangerous category and this type were involved in 70% of cyclist deaths involving lorries in the last three years, The London Cycling Campaign said.
Many have a high cab and are raised high above ground level, making cyclists much harder to see.
According to Transport for London (TfL), lorries account for less than 4% of miles driven in the capital but were involved in 78% of cyclist fatalities and 20% of pedestrian ones.
Khan said: “I’m not prepared to stand by and let dangerous lorries continue to cause further heartbreak and tragedy on London’s roads.
“The evidence is clear – HGVs have been directly involved in over half of cycling fatalities over the last two years, and we must take bold action to make our roads safer for both cyclists and pedestrians.”
“Lorries designed in the 1970s and for use in a quarry have no place on the streets of a 21st century city,” said Leon Daniels, managing director of surface transport at TfL.
The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) called the statistics around the most dangerous lorries “grim”.
“Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers and operators of HGVs all stand to gain if modern designs with minimal blind spots become the norm for on-street use – no one wants fatalities and life-changing injuries to continue to happen,” said the LCC’s Tom Bogdanowicz.
But Road Haulage Association’s chief executive Richard Burnett told the BBC: “Demonising lorries is unfair. Lorries, including construction vehicles, play a vital part in the economic life of London.
“Without them the capital’s businesses would grind to a standstill.”
Khan also pledged to ensure TfL and the Greater London Authority would not use trucks in any contract from the next financial year.
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