Promising “bold action” to protect cyclists and pedestrians in the capital, London’s mayor Sadiq Khan has unveiled plans to ban heavy goods vehicles with poor driver’s cab visibility from the streets of London.
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The new proposals were announced this morning and involve a star-rating system that determines the risk from both construction and heavy goods vehicles on a scale of zero to five. As many as 35,000 vehicles could be removed from the city’s streets by 2020 if the plans go ahead.
“I’m not prepared to stand by and let dangerous lorries continue to cause further heartbreak and tragedy on London’s roads,” said Khan this morning. “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.
“I’m determined to ensure the most dangerous zero star-rated lorries are removed from our roads completely by 2020. Our groundbreaking Direct Vision Standard will be the first of its kind in the world, directly addressing the issue of lethal driver blind-spots. I’m also proud that TfL will lead by example and will not use any zero-star lorries in its supply chain from the new financial year.”
The Mayor’s office estimates that over the past two years HGVs were involved in 23% of pedestrian deaths and 58% of cyclists deaths in London, despite accounting for just 4% of the miles driven in the city. In total, nine cyclists and 66 pedestrians were killed in the capital last year, according to Transport for London (TfL).
Demonising lorries “unfair”
For its part, the Road Haulage Association says that improved cab visibility “isn’t going to sort the problem alone”. Richard Burnett, chief executive of the RHA, added: “Demonising lorries, which keep the economy and shops going, 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.”
The new proposals are to be put to a public consultation, but the Mayor has already committed a number of city agencies, including TfL, to ensure that no lorries with poor cab visibility are used in their supply chains.