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British Cycling lambasts DfT over HGV consultation

Tuesday 20th November 2012

British Cycling has criticised the DfT for “once again” failing to consider cyclists after it released a consultation looking at increasing speed limits for HGVs.

In a written statement, British Cycling is urging its members to submit their own responses or write to their MPs expressing their concerns about the proposed move.

The statement reads: “Despite roads minister Stephen Hammond earlier this month having reassured British Cycling that cycling is at the heart of transport policy, the consultation and impact assessment have no mention of cycling at all.

“This follows the introduction in 2011 of longer semi-articulated lorry trailers despite widespread concern about the increased road safety risks, again without any consideration of the implications for cycling.

“In contrast, however, some freight and construction organisations are paving the way in best practice on HGV safety, in particular: Crossrail and the Mineral Products Association.

“It’s not only freight companies which are taking cycling seriously. The president of the AA, has called for cars and bikes to share the space on the road and break down the tribal mentalities. Edmund King calls for a culture change and welcomes more cyclists on the roads.

“These are all good developments but it is the DfT which should be showing leadership on cycling by making sure that all new policies are cycle friendly.”

Martin Gibbs, policy & legal affairs director of British Cycling, said: “If the Government is serious about putting cycling at the heart of transport policy it must look specifically at the consequences policy changes like this would have for cyclists. The impact assessment circulated with the consultation fails to even mention cycling.

“We know that vehicle speed is the most significant determinant of road danger for cyclists and these speed limits were established for good safety reasons. On a single carriageway it can be difficult for an HGV to pull round someone on a bike, particularly if there is oncoming traffic. HGVs have got wider and longer since the current limits were introduced and traffic is denser. We believe that the potential increased danger posed to cyclists should have been clearly and specifically addressed by the DfT.”

Click here to read the full British Cycling statement.

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