Transport for London is tackling cyclist safety around lorries with three measures, the department has revealed this morning.
The measure include the trial of on-street cycle safety mirrors, a new awareness campaign warning cyclists that undertaking lorries at junctions can be fatal, and the signing of an agreement with the Freight Transport Association (FTA) to improve cycle safety in London.
This latest safety drive follows last month’s report that cyclists injuries and deaths have fallen in the capital.
London will the be the first UK city to trial on-street cycle safety mirrors – dubbed the ‘Trixi’ mirror – with 39 to be installed at traffic signals for six months. Thirty-seven of which will be installed on Barclays Cycle Superhighway pilot routes, with 31 in place before the launch of the scheme this month. The mirrors aim to reduce the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured in collisions with lorries.
A new TfL poster campaign is set to launch soon too, illustrating the potential deadly situations cyclists can put themselves in if they ride along the left side of lorries at junctions. A Memorandum of Understanding has also been signed, committing the Mayor, TfL and the FTA to work together to improve safety for cyclists in the capital.
The seven-point Memorandum includes commitments to identify locations and times where loading and unloading activity or commercial vehicle routing might conflict with cycle routes. The pledge also covers identifying training needs for all road users, particularly cyclists and drivers of large vehicles, and also to examine road traffic enforcement and engineering measures to find a balance between their enforceability and practicality.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Safety is the top priority of the cycle revolution that we’re bringing to London. That is why we are taking direct action to do everything we can to give cyclists and HGV drivers the tools and information they need to navigate our roads, and each other, safely. The Trixi mirrors will improve the visibility of cyclists and our poster campaign will increase their awareness of the danger of being on the inside of heavy vehicles at junctions. But I am especially pleased that the HGV industry has responded and is ready to act on this issue. Their commitment is important for us to be able to make the Capital’s roads even safer to cycle on.”
Gordon Telling, Head of Urban Logistics Policy at the Freight Transport Association, commented: “The FTA and its members have a culture of health and safety at the heart of their businesses and are delighted to be marking a commitment to greater co-operation and safer roads by the signing of this agreement. FTA members have invested heavily to make their vehicles safer for other road users and the agreement determines the best solutions to reduce casualties further, the Trixi mirrors pilot being an excellent example.”
Ben Plowden, Director of Better Routes and Places at TfL, added: “Cycling is a wonderful way to get around London and the vast majority of cycle journeys are completed safely. Cycle safety has improved significantly in the last decade, despite the number of journeys more than doubling in that time.
“While the new Trixi mirror trial is an important tool in our ongoing work to tackle collisions between cyclists and HGVs, cyclists can also help themselves to stay safe on London’s roads. As our new awareness campaign makes clear, cycling in a lorry’s blind spot can, and tragically sometimes does, have fatal consequences. We hope this campaign will help inform London’s cyclists on how to position themselves safely on the road.”