The Mayor of London has promised to carry out a probe on the operation of Heavy Goods Vehicles in the capital by the construction industry following the recent spate of deaths of cyclists in the capital after lorry collisions. Heavy goods vehicles have been involved in at least seven of the eight incidents this year which have led to cyclist fatalities.
Boris Johnson made the commitment at a meeting with the family of Brian Dorling, the cyclist killed in east London on October 24 by a lorry. At the meeting, Boris expressed his condolences for their loss.
Transport for London (TfL) will commission an independent review of the design, operation and driving of construction industry vehicles. This will include skip lorries, tipper trucks and cement mixers in London. Initial results of this review will be available in the spring next year.
Boris has also promised a further series of public safety campaigns that target every road user. The campaigns will be designed to ensure that drivers, pedestrians and cyclists are given the information they need to help stay safe on London’s roads. The first of these, urging drivers to look out for cyclists, goes live this week.
There will also be a TfL campaign specifically covering the issue of HGV’s on London’s roads. This is in development and will build on previous campaigns on cycle safety and the need for drivers to share road space with cyclists and vice versa. These campaigns will seek the input of a wide range of stakeholders, including the construction and haulage industries, cycling groups and local representatives from across the capital.
TfL has already said that it will carry out an assessment of the Bow roundabout for the Mayor as well as every major planned scheme on Transport for London roads, and of every junction on the Cycle Superhighways with pedestrians and cyclists in mind. The results for Bow will be available within weeks, with all remaining junctions reviewed on a prioritised basis between now and the spring of next year.
The Mayor told the family of Mr Dorling that he was unaware of a report by the Jacobs Consultancy that warned TfL about the dangers of the Bow junction. That report recommended signalised crossings for cyclists and pedestrians on two arms of the junction, together with off-carriageway cycle lanes.
London Cycling Campaign chief executive Ashok Sinha said:
“It’s a tragedy it has taken two cyclist deaths in three weeks to bring this vital report on the dangers at Bow to the Mayor’s attention. He must act immediately to implement the report’s recommendations to make the junctions safe.”