Cyclists and lorry drivers swap saddles and seats to enhance understanding

12.00 | 25 September 2015 | | 4 comments

Cyclists and lorry drivers are swapping places as part of a series of events taking place across Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) this month to highlight the challenges they both face on London’s roads.

The H&F events are part of the Met Police’s ‘Exchanging Places’ scheme which runs across London to raise awareness of cyclists’ safety.
As part of Exchanging Places, cyclists are invited to sit in a lorry cab and appreciate the complexities of the driver’s task negotiating London traffic, including giving cyclists a ‘driver’s eye’ view of blind spots. The council’s road safety team is also on hand to give out leaflets and advice on cycle safety.
James Cracknell OBE, former Olympic rowing champion and president of The London Road Safety Council, attended the first Exchanging Places event in H&F, and more than 60 cyclists were present when it was held at Shepherds’ Bush Green. 
Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Council, said: “We want to make our roads safer for everyone who uses them and these Exchanging Places events are helping cyclists and lorry drivers see the world from each other’s perspective. Hopefully this increased awareness will reduce collisions.”


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    I am surprised that what has always seemed obvious to me is not, it seems, obvious to everyone else. That being the case, I withdraw my earlier comment, but add the following helpful point.

    30 years ago I was stationary in the nearside of 2 lanes at lights that were at red, where the road forked either side of a building. To my right was an articulated lorry signalling right but as the lights changed to green the driver changed his mind, signalling left and moving into my lane. It was clear that he could not see me so I blew my horn to warn him. Unfortunately the horn failed to work and the rear n/s tyre of the lorry shoved my car bodily sideways onto the pavement. Then an elderly pedestrian came to my window and screamed “It’s your fault!” – even though had not moved (except sideways).

    Moral of this true story? (a) Check your horn occasionally (b)do not drive unless it is working (c) witnesses are often wrong – the lorry’s insurance paid for my repairs.

    Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield
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    Idris Francis should take off the blinkers and go and check it out for himself. Tragically far too many cyclists and pedestrians are unaware of the blind spots around HGVs, which are not at all obvious as he alleges.

    Richard Evans, Hammersmith
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    Having run a very similar event at a cyclist trainer conference in which we placed people in a C+E LGV and a PSV I can say that there is much to be gained. The trainers were experienced cyclists and most were amazed at the number of mirrors and the view in them that the driver of a large vehicle has to manage. There was a lot of positive feedback from the trainers and most thought that it would benefit all cyclists if they were to experience the view from the cab. Inevitably, there was a good exchange of ideas when talking with the drivers of the vehicles.

    I was also part of an event at which cycling members of the public got to sit in the cab of an artic and see whether they could see in the mirrors a number of cycles we had strategically placed around the vehicle. Of course, the bikes were all in blind spots and unable to be seen – again, riders went away with a much healthier respect for trucks and other large vehicles.

    David, Suffolk
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    Hope and wishful thinking. What could they possible learn that is not already known or obvious?

    Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield
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