Calls mount for rush-hour lorry ban in London

Aaron Morby 8 years ago
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London’s Mayor is under intense pressure to ban HGV lorries from using roads during the rush hour after the sixth cycling fatality on the capital’s roads in two weeks.

A ban would badly hit building sites throughout the capital which depend on early deliveries and site waste removal because of existing night-time lorry bans.

The latest victim was a cyclist in his 60s who died in a collision with a tipper truck just before noon on Monday in Camberwell, south London as the vehicle was turning left.

It is the 14th death so far this year with HGVs  involved in nine of the fatal crashes. During the last four years HGVs have been involved in 53% of London cyclist deaths with cycling campaigners warning tipper trucks are the most dangerous vehicles.

Presently construction lorries and tipper trucks are not required to be fitted with life-saving sidebars or low skirts because of problems driving off road.

Nigel Jackson, chief executive of the Mineral Products Association, said: “If a rush hour ban was introduced without addressing night constraints we simply would not have enough time to supply construction customers. We would be happy to participate in a discussion about reducing congestion at rush hour.”

The latest death took place in the Southwark Council area where its leader, Peter John, has previously called for HGVs to be banned during rush hour to protect cyclists.

The male driver of the lorry stopped at the scene but was not formally arrested.

Green Party London Assembly Member Jenny Jones tweeted: “6 cyclists dead in 14 days – stop blaming victims & fix the big problems. Get HGVs off roads at rush hour.”

Mike Cavenett, from the London Cycling Campaign, said tipper lorries have a high driving position and poor visibility for the driver.

“These lorries are banned from the roads overnight so first thing in the morning they go out on to the streets to make deliveries at the same time as cyclists. It is a serious problem. Reducing the danger that lorries pose has to be the number one priority.

“We want lorries to be equipped with sensors or cameras to help the drivers, and cyclist awareness training for every lorry driver in London.”

Around half of the cyclist fatalities in Greater London involve lorries, he said, and three-quarters of those are from the construction industry.

Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety executive director David Davies has written to Boris Johnson calling on him to act.

“The boom in cycling in London has many benefits and we support it but the tragic events of the past few days show that there is a need for urgent action,” he said.

“We are therefore calling on the mayor to convene a cycling safety summit to see what can be done immediately to make cyclists safer.

“It is essential that actions are based on good evidence and well targeted. We must avoid knee-jerk reactions and measures that might be counterproductive.”

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