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

Direct vision lorry
Direct vision standards for lorries one step closer in London News
There are vision standards for what lorry drivers can see in their mirrors, but not what they can see directly from their cab. Little surprise, then, that we hear about blind spots whenever lorry left hooks and cyclists are mentioned. It has been slow progress, but direct vision standards are now one step closer following the latest Transport for London consultation, with a plan to keep off-road lorries where they were designed to be - off-road, not in the city centre.
Lorry driver on a cycle training course
Exchanging places Blog
The next best thing after safer direct vision lorries, is driver training. That's what Cycling UK volunteer and cycle instructor Glenn Blake is doing when he's not helping us out: teaching roadcraft from a cycling perspective to lorry drivers.
Rickney Lane, East Sussex
Pevensey cyclists celebrate as lorries barred from country lane Press Release
Cycling UK action results in regular HGV movements blocked on national cycle network and walking route.
Cyclist wait at junction
Road safety and cycling: Overview Campaigning Views
'More' as well as 'safer' cycling can and should go hand-in-hand.
 
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