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‘UNSAFE’ CONSTRUCTION LORRIES FACE LONDON BAN

Mayor links with Councils to impose “simple and comprehensive” ban

London Mayor, Boris Johnson, and the London boroughs have announced that lorries without safety equipment to protect cyclists and pedestrians will be banned from London.

The proposed ban will concern every vehicle in London over 3.5 tonnes, which are said to represent a disproportionate cause of cyclist and pedestrian deaths. Lorries will be banned if they are not fitted with:

  • Sideguards – to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels; and 
  • Mirrors – giving the driver a better view of cyclists and pedestrians around their vehicles.

The ban will be enforced by CCTV cameras and on-street checks, subject to approval by the Department for Transport.

National legislation requires many HGVs to be fitted with this equipment. However, construction lorries, tipper trucks, waste vehicles, cement mixers and certain other forms of HGV are exempt from these and other safety requirements.

The rising number of such vehicles in London is a “hazard to the growing number of cyclists” who now make up almost a quarter of all rush hour traffic in the centre.

Of the 16 cyclist deaths in London in 2011, nine involved HGVs. Of these nine, seven were construction lorries.

‘Hardening’ of the previous policy

The move presents a hardening of the previous policy and uses a combination of powers held by TfL and London Councils, the umbrella body for the London boroughs, to reach a simpler, quicker and more complete solution than either body could achieve on its own.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

“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. 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.”

TfL now proposes to make a Traffic Regulation Order to ban HGVs without cyclist safety equipment on its own roads, the busiest main roads which carry about 45 per cent of all HGV traffic in London.

London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee (TEC) will start the process of making a pan-London Traffic Regulation Order for borough roads.

Subject to a formal consultation and legal procedures, the process could be completed as early as September, and by the end of the year at the latest.

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