Lorries without sidebars and mirrors that protect vulnerable road users will be banned from London roads by the end of the year, it was announced today.
And while London mayor Boris Johnson announced the lorry ban plans, he also joined other EU city leaders – and Chris Boardman – to press for design changes that could make all European lorries safer.
Transport for London said it was working with the 32 London boroughs to introduce camera and warden-enforced rules that will mean 3.5 tonne lorries must be fitted with sidebars to stop cyclists and pedestrians being dragged under wheels, and mirrors to combat blind spots.
In early January Metropolitan Police figures revealed up to 60 percent of lorries stopped on London’s roads were being driven illegally or were defective. In 2011, nine cyclists were killed by HGVs and seven were construction vehicles.
The new regulations will replace previous TfL plans to fine dangerous lorries £200 if they entered central London.
Johnson said: “In my Cycling Vision, I said that no lorry should be allowed in London unless it is fitted with equipment to protect cyclists. Neither I nor the boroughs have the power to ban lorries without safety equipment on our own. It was for that reason that I proposed to use a power I do have, to levy a hefty charge on lorries without such equipment.
“But I am pleased to say that after negotiations with London Councils, we can now combine our powers to propose a simple and comprehensive ban.”
The London boroughs will meet in March to make plans to introduce a city-wide Traffic Regulation Order that, subject to consultation and legal procedures could be law by September at the earliest and December at the latest.
Mayors task EU on safer lorry design
Yesterday, Johnson along with mayors from Paris, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Madrid called on the European Parliament to pass regulations to make lorry design safer by lowering the cab window eliminating blindspots. According to The Times, British MEPs had been told to vote against the new rules which will be debated in February. .
Mr Johnson said: “This is a once-in-a-decade opportunity for the EU to remove some of the blockages which prevent us from making lorries safer in our cities.
“If these amendments, supported by dozens of cities across Europe, can succeed, we can save literally hundreds of lives across the EU in years to come.
Former Olympic champion and British Cycling policy advisor Chris Boardman travelled with the mayor.
Boardman said: “By adopting these recommendations the EU could play an important role in changing our transport habits to benefit us all. It would be criminal for us to know how to save lives and then choose not to take action.”