The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has opposed calls from the London Assembly for a ban on lorries from the city’s streets during rush-hour.
The Assembly called for the ban earlier this month pointing to statistics that show seven out of the eight cycling fatalities in London so far this year were the result of collisions with Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs).
However, the FTA say that banning lorries is not the ‘silver bullet solution’, suggesting instead that delivering safety improvements will require action in a number of areas, including: improved enforcement against non-compliant HGV operators; improvements to HGV vehicle design and use of technology; driver and rider training; better infrastructure on London’s roads, and a better culture of using the roads carefully and safely by all users.
Christopher Snelling, FTA head of urban logistics, said: “The proposal for a rush-hour lorry ban is not a silver bullet solution. What we are looking for is improved safety for everyone, and there are many elements which should be considered.
“For example while early morning is rush hour for cyclists, the peak time for pedestrians is later – we need to ensure that solutions do not bring unintended consequences. Better awareness, training and behaviour is needed from all road users to make our roads as safe as they can be.”
The London Assembly believes there are still too many dangerous HGVs on London’s roads and that more needs to be done to separate cyclists from lorries.
Alongside the rush-hour bans, it has called for the construction industry to adopt Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety (CLOCS) standards, confidential reporting of bad practice to be rolled out to all HGV drivers and comprehensive enforcement so that rogue operators do not permit unlicensed, untrained lorry drivers, or unsafe vehicles, to operate on the roads.
Darren Johnson, chair of the London Assembly’s Environment Committee, proposed the motion. He said: “Far too many people have died under the wheels of an HGV in London. We know the safety measures which would make cyclists safer and there is a growing cross-party determination that we need to end the unnecessary deaths and injuries on our roads.
“Londoners should be able to cycle to work, or take the kids to school, without fearing for their lives.”