Drivers and cyclists are being targeted by Transport for London in a bid to boost cyclist safety in the capital this autumn.
Rider safety around HGVs is a key part of the drive. Half of all cycle deaths in London involve heavy goods vehicles: since Janaury 2009, 13 of the 23 cyclists who lost their lives on London roads died following collisions with lorries.
To tackle the problem, London Mayor Boris Johnson and TfL’s autumn campaign will include:
-Introducing new ‘Safer London Driving’ cycle awareness training for lorry drivers, which is now part of the HGV drivers’ Certificate of Professional competetence accredited scheme
-Calling for more freight operators to join the Freight Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) and offering 540 free ‘Safer London Driving’ places to FORS members
-Urging cyclists not to undertake lorries at junctions via a widespread ad campaign and hundreds of safety posters at key London sites
-Calling for more people to sign up for TFL-funded adult commuter cycle training available from boroughs (via www.tfl.gov.uk/cycling)
“As many thousands of cycle hire members have discovered over the past three months, cycling is one of the most enjoyable ways of getting around London," said Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London’s transport advisor.
"But as ever more people take to two wheels it is important we do everything we can to improve cycle safety in the Capital. We are working with freight operating companies to improve HGV safety and we are the first city in the UK to trial on-street cycle safety ‘Trixi’ mirrors. However perhaps most vital is getting safety advice to cyclists, whether new or experienced, particularly about road positioning and crucially that being in the blind spot of a large vehicle could potentially have fatal consequences.”
Ben Plowden, director of Better Routes and Places at TfL, added: “As the days become colder and the nights longer we want to help keep cyclists riding throughout the winter months. Our new awareness campaign makes it clear that cycling in a lorry’s blind spot can have fatal consequences. Adult cycle training is a great way to improve confidence and to develop the skills needed to keep cycling safely and comfortably throughout the winter; I’d urge anyone who cycles or who is thinking about cycling in London to give it a go.
“We hope that the introduction of the new Safer London Driving training for lorry drivers, which increases cycle awareness, will also help to remind HGV drivers of the road issues cyclists’ face.”