The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and London’s 33 boroughs have joined forces to create a ‘Safer Lorry Zone’ within the M25 and exclude unsafe HGV lorries heavier than 3.5 tonnes. As a result lorries have just months to fit the compulsory cycle safety equipment – side-guards and cyclist-friendly mirrors – or face possible fines of £130. This will affect an estimated 30,000 HGVs.
Boris Johnson said: “In my cycle vision I said no lorry should be allowed in London unless it is fitted with fitted with equipment to protect the cyclist. Neither I nor the boroughs have the power to ban lorries without safety equipment on our own. It is for that reason that I proposed to use the power I do have to levy a hefty charge on lorries without such equipment. But I’m pleased to say we can combine our powers to propose a simple and comprehensive ban.”
Construction vehicles have previously had an exemption to the safety rules that apply to supermarket lorries in London, this is due to sidebars making it difficult for tipper trucks to drive off-road. HGVs have reportedly been involved in 53% of cyclist deaths in London in the past 4 years, despite them accounting for only 4% of traffic. The Transport Research Laboratory in Bracknell has calculated that 50% – 74% of cycle fatalities could be prevented with side-guards.