Campaign

Action on lorries

Introduction

Lorries pose a serious risk to cyclists in urban areas

Lorries in London

In November 2013, six cyclists died on London’s streets in just two weeks. Large vehicles were involved in all of these deaths, and three of these were lorries (the other three were buses). Three pedestrians also died during this time, one in an incident with a lorry, two in an incident with a bus.

Between 2008 and July 2015 56 cyclists in London were killed in collisions with lorries, with 29 of these involving construction lorries. One of the biggest problems is that lorry drivers have limited direct vision of cyclists because of the cab design, which is why Cycling UKis calling for supporters to Take Action for Safer Lorries via our online tool.  

To keep up to date with Cycling UK’s campaigning on lorries and other issues, subscribe to our monthly, online Cycle Campaign News.

See also our summary of Cycling UK's ongoing and past lorry campaigning


Facts:

- Goods vehicles (excluding light vans) make up only 5% of traffic in Great Britain (GB), but are on average involved in about 18% of cyclists’ road deaths per year. In 2012, goods vehicles were involved in 15% of GB pedestrian fatalities, so they pose a serious threat to them too.

- In London, large goods vehicles were involved in 5 of the 14 cyclists’ fatalities in 2012 and, by November 2013, they had been involved in 9 of the 14 deaths in the capital in that year.

- For cyclists, collisions with lorries are far more likely to prove fatal than collisions with cars: in 2012, the cyclist was killed in nearly 25% of serious injury cyclists/goods vehicle collisions; this figure was just over 2% for cyclists/cars. Equally, lorries were involved in just 1.5% of slight injuries to cyclists, but 19% of cyclists’ fatalities. 

Ways to reduce the risks include:

- Re-designing and re-building major roads and junctions to high standards of cycle-friendliness, rather than sacrificing pedestrians' and cyclists' safety in order to maximise motor traffic flows;

- Insisting that lorries meet high cycle-friendly and pedestrian-friendly design standards; (e.g. more transparent cab and lower driving position);

- Keeping lorries off the busiest roads at the busiest times;

- Routing and distribution strategies that minimise conflict;

- Maintaining and enforcing safe driving and vehicle standards;

- Training and information for both cyclists and goods vehicle drivers;

Our campaigns briefing on goods vehicles explains all the above in more detail.

Recent Campaign Activity

Cyclist wait at junction
Road safety and cycling: Overview Campaigning Views
'More' as well as 'safer' cycling can and should go hand-in-hand.
Picture of a Mercedes direct vision lorry
Mayor promises autumn plan for safer lorries News
As Mayor Sadiq Khan commits to quickly increase the number of direct vision lorries in London and promises a plan to do so by this Autumn, the momentum to move to safer lorries, protect pedestrians and save cyclists' lives is growing, but needs to be a national not London-centric initiative.
While total police numbers are down 3.5%, roads police officers are down by 37%
Cycling UK urges Government to implement MPs’ road laws report Press Release
Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, has urged the Government to say it will fully implement the recommendations of a Commons Committee report on “Road traffic law enforcement”, saying this could have huge benefits for the safety of everyone who uses our roads, particularly the most vulnerable.
Picture of Sian Berry, Green Party Mayoral Candidate addressing a crowd.
Sian signs up to Cycling UK’s direct vision roadmap News
Green Party Mayoral candidate for London Sian Berry has now joined Liberal Democrat hopeful Caroline Pidgeon in supporting Cycling UK's proposed 'roadmap' to direct vision safer lorries. With Labour candidate Sadiq Khan pledging in his manifesto to promote direct vision lorries, only Zac Goldsmith from the four main parties has yet to commit. What's the Conservative position on lorry safety, Zac?
 
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