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Lorries banned from London unless cyclist friendly

  • 30 January 2014
  • By Chris Druce

Lorries without cycle safety equipment are to be banned from entering London, the capital’s mayor said today.

Revealing his Safer Lorry Scheme (previously the Safer Lorry Charge), Boris Johnson described the measure as an escalation of an initative originally set to see operators that didn’t conform hit with a fine.

The ban will affect any vehicle over 3.5 tonnes entering the capital without sideguards and cycle friendly mirrors [the announcement does not contain specific detail].

“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,” said Johnson.

“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.”

A traffic regulation order will now be co-authored by TfL and London councils to make the ban pan-London in its scope. Enforcement will be via CCTV cameras and on-street checks, subject to approval by the Department for Transport (DfT).

London Councils is currently consulting separately on introducing a requirement for members of the London Lorry Control Scheme to fit cycle safety equipment, which would affect trucks over 18-tonnes in GVW.

Best way forward?

In response the Freight Transport Assocation (FTA) said the scheme was neither the most targeted or effective course of action that could have been taken,

Christopher Snelling, FTA’s head of urban logistics policy, said: “These proposals will affect anything larger than a transit van and are not targeted, as we believe they should be, at construction traffic.

“Many large vans and small HGVs would in fact fall foul of other legislation if they fitted additional mirrors as their cabs are too low and pedestrians and cyclists would be at risk of being struck by these low mirrors. 

“This is the danger with politicians developing new standards without working with the industry.  Safety on the roads is a complex issue and politicians often reach for the simplistic solution.”

The move comes despite the launch of a unified construction vehicle safety standard late last year and a DfT review of truck sideguard exemptions that is ongoing.


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