Lorries driving in London could be required to fit extra mirrors and side guards to protect cyclists and pedestrians.
At a meeting today held yesterday, London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee agreed to have a public consultation about changing the conditions of the London Lorry Control scheme to require heavy goods vehicles to fit safety measures such as side-guards and extra mirrors.
London Councils is responsible for the London Lorry Control Scheme which works by restricting the movement of HGVs over 18 tonnes in London between 9pm and 7am on weekdays and between 1pm on Saturdays and 7am on Mondays.
During these times, lorries are restricted to a limited ‘excluded route network’ unless they have been granted specific permission to use other roads. The London Lorry Control Scheme "balances the need of Londoners to get a good night’s sleep with those of the freight industry to make deliveries." There are currently 56,000 permit holders.
EU and UK legislation requires most HGVs to have side guards and close proximity mirrors fitted. However, many construction vehicles, tipper trucks, cement mixers and waste vehicles are exempted from these requirements.
The committee also agreed to consider altering the London Lorry Control Scheme permit conditions to restrict the number of lorries allowed to drive in London during the morning rush hour.
Chair of London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee, Councillor Catherine West said: “The tragic number of cyclist fatalities in London in recent weeks has heightened concerns about cycle safety, particularly the risk of collisions with lorries.
“There is no valid reason for lorries driving in London not to have basic safety equipment fitted including side guards and extra mirrors. Although the London Lorry Control Scheme only operates overnight and at weekends, the benefits of using it to implement cycling safety measures would be far greater as the lorries are used at other times too – very few such vehicles operate only during the day time in the week.
“It is important to reduce the risks to cyclists to encourage Londoners to make more journeys by bike.”
The extended HGV safety measures, if agreed to via the public consultation, will also benefit pedestrian safety. Many more pedestrians are killed in London by HGVs than cyclists.