Action on lorries


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


- 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

doublethink photo by duncan C
Watch and Hang Back before UNTHINKING News
We asked THINK to stop digging a hole with their 'Hang Back' campaign. They're still holding the shovels, as the Minister explains that the film is not about blaming victims...
Opening shot of "Hang Back" campaign
No turning back for THINK campaign which just keeps digging News
DfT's 'hang back messaging' in its latest Think campaign video was flawed from the outset, says the UK's national cycling charity. So now it's time to take action and fill those inboxes with a call to drop the campaign. Maybe we can help them fill that hole that they keep on digging?
Direct vision lorry
London Mayor “to ensure the most dangerous zero star-rated lorries are removed from our road" Press Release
Cycling UK has today (Friday, 30 September 2016) announced its delight at London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s promise “to ensure the most dangerous zero star-rated lorries are removed from our road”.
Still from THINK campaign "Hang Back"
THINK before you blame the victim News
'Hang Back' from lorries is this morning's message from the DfT to cyclists. No mention on safer direct vision lorries, better infrastructure, driver responsibility or lorry restrictions. Just a message to cyclists about what they need to do to avoid being killed. Oh dear - perhaps the DfT should have looked and listened first.
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