The CTC has raised concerns about cyclists’ safety in the wake of the DfT’s plans to pilot the use of longer lorry trailers.
The DfT is conducting a trail of up to 1,800 longer trailers and is inviting operators to participate in the programme.
In a written statement to the House of Commons, Mike Penning, road safety minister, said: “Our research shows that the ability to operate longer semi trailers would provide clear benefits to business and a spur to efficiency and growth.
“We expect the trial itself to offer a net present value of £33m, largely due to the financial benefits operators should see over the 10-year length of the trial (around £1,800 per vehicle per year). We would expect many of these benefits to flow through to the consumer.”
However, according to a report on ‘road.cc’, CTC, the UK’s national cyclists’ organisation, is urging the Government to undertake a ‘proper assessment’ of the hazards posed to other road users, as well as road infrastructure. More than 1,300 CTC members also wrote to their MPs to oppose the trial.
In his written statement, Mr Penning also said that areas meriting “additional investigation” included “the effectiveness of additional vision/sensor/safety systems fitted to improve detection of vulnerable road users”.
Roger Geffen, CTC’s campaigns director, said: “If the minister was serious about cycle safety he wouldn’t allow this trial to go ahead but would ensure that the existing lorry fleet – which already poses a considerable threat to cycle safety – is equipped and their drivers sufficiently trained to share roads with cyclists’ safely.
“The DfT must ensure that the trial is not simply the thin end of the wedge: we need a proper assessment of the risks to road users and road infrastructure.”