No More Lethal Lorries!

March 29, 2011 — 6 Comments

Today, the 30th of March, is the day of action in London to try to get rid of lethal lorries from London’s streets. This date has been in place for several months and it is unfortunate that in the past week 2 cyclists and a pedestrian have been killed by such lorries on London’s roads.

All cyclists should sign the petition from the LCC to help get rid of these lethal lorries. But it may not get rid of these lorries so easily. The 5 point plan includes the following

  1. Cyclist-awareness training for drivers – All city lorry drivers should be having ongoing cycle-awareness training, including on-bike experience.
  2. Drivers must take more responsibility – Authorities must recognise driver responsibility for doing everything practical to reduce risks. Blaming a ‘blind spot’ should be an admission of guilt.
  3. Safer design for London lorries – Lorries designed for off-road use should be taken off city streets. The best mirrors, cameras and sensors should be fitted as standard.
  4. Higher standards from lorry operators – Quality-assurance schemes such as London’s Freight Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) should be mandatory and the police encouraged to crack down on rogue operators.
  5. More responsible procurement – Companies must only buy haulage services from reputable firms, with government taking a lead in encouraging best practice.

The plan looks strong but I’m sure that many of us will be disappointed to see that there isn’t a proposal to remove the lorries full stop. This does not address the problem of the lorries being too big for our London streets and posing a danger to all cyclists on the road.

This image shows a rough area that is a blind spot for lorry drivers, now take a look at the image below which also shows the blind spot of a lorry. Does it look like a common cycling facility to you?

It looks an awful lot like the shape of an ASL with a feeder lane. Popular cycling facilities at junctions in London. These junctions are putting cyclists at risk daily!

Something needs to be done about this situation that we face! It is not just an issue in London, cyclists everywhere face the issue of HGV’s on a daily basis, lets hope that the right decision is made here and that it affects everywhere else shortly after.

I urge all of you to sign the petition, it takes only a few moments of your time but could help to safe a lot of people’s lives!

EDIT: Oh bummer, this went live a bit earlier than I was expecting!

Gaz

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Gaz is one of the well known cyclists in a growing community of those using cameras. With over 34,000 Youtube subscribers and more than 9,8000,000 online video views, his channels and videos are among some of the most popular of their kind. Gaz has spoken on Radio, TV and in national cycling campaigns about the use of cameras and the power of videos.

6 responses to No More Lethal Lorries!

  1. TheVexatiousLitigant March 30, 2011 at 1:30 am

    Until all these dangerous lorries are off the road the drivers of badly designed lorries should be required stop at triffic lights at a point where they can still see the whole of the ASL. This could be Policed by having Cops jump in the drivers seat and fine the drivers that have pulled up to close to see if a cyclist enters the ASL. We are talking about life and death!

  2. It is incredible that the ASL is effectively designed to place cyclists directly in the HGV blind spot. The road layout encourages people to put themselves in the most dangerous position.

    People are dying because of this, each and every year, and ‘officialdom’ just does not seem to register it as a problem.

    • Stabiliser, it’s not just the ASL but cycle lanes in general. What many experienced cyclists already know is that cycling on the far left of the road puts you out of sight and out of mind. It’s often really dangerous around small cars, never mind when the road is full of hulking great 30 tonne lorries.

      Someone has to implement proper shared-use roads that actively de-segregate traffic, reducing motorists’ speeds

      • You are right, I’m currently writing a rather long post about this and how TFL, DFT and Borris could have made a real difference to cycling safety on a stretch of road but didn’t!

      • Chris, I agree to an extent. I would say that it is *poorly designed* cycle lanes that are the problem. Official DfT guidelines state that the minimum width for a cycle lane should be 1.5 m, and yet even this fairly dubious width is rarely, if ever, adhered to, with dire consequences for novice cyclists.

        On busier roads, with heavy traffic flows, the correct strategy would be a 2-3m wide properly segregated path, according to the Dutch design model. I’m not sure ‘sharing’ would work particularly well on roads like Tottenham Court Road, where traffic volume is high, and there is little incentive for drivers to moderate their speed. I think novice cyclists would still be intimidated into the gutter, even with lower traffic speeds.

        Quieter side-streets and residential roads, of course, are more appropriate for a ‘sharing’ strategy, with lower speed limits, and road closures for motor vehicles, that would create a calmer traffic environment.

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