Sixth cyclist death in two weeks leads to calls for rush-hour HGV ban in capital

posted 20.11.2013
Six cyclist fatalities in a two week span has increased pressure to place a ban on HGV lorries using the roads in London during rush hour.

The latest fatality came after a collision between a cyclist believed to be in his sixties and a lorry in south-east London. This is the 14th cycling casualty on London?s roads of 2013, nine of which involved HGV?s.

The construction industry would be potentially severely affected by any HGV ban, with night constraints already placed upon delivery some believe that they simply would not have the time to meet supply for construction companies.

It is estimated that on average half of cyclists casualties in the capital involve lorries, with a high proportion of these (about three-quarters) being construction related vehicles.

The problem appears to be that construction lorries and tipper trucks have a high driving position with poor visibility, they are also not required to include sidebars or low skirts which can be life-saving. This is due to problems when the vehicles drive off road.

Calls have been made for these vehicles to be fitted with both sensors and cameras to assist the drivers, further calls have been made for cyclist awareness training for HGV drivers in London.

On the opposite side calls have been made for cyclists to be aware of the dangers, wear high visibility and reduce the use of head phones whilst travelling.

London has seen a boom in cycling with an increase of 200,000 journeys made by bike each day between 2002 and 2011. Whilst each fatality is a tragedy and unavoidable it should also be mentioned that during this boom the number of fatalities has not increased on London roads, in 2002 there was 20 fatalities compared to 16 in 2011.

Whilst this latest spate of cyclist casualties is alarming and has certainly highlighted a problem some are calling for blanket bans on Lorry use in rush hour whilst others are urging that knee jerk reactions are not the answer. The Mayors office will certainly be under pressure to react to the recent events.

Category: health and safety, industry, Mike Close