No Longer Lorries

Lorries are disproportionately involved in the deaths of cyclists. The Department for Transport has granted a trial to allow longer lorries onto Britain's roads, a move which CTC believe will greatly increase the risk to cyclists.

The crashes in which cyclists are killed tend to involve the low speed turns in which the driver has poor visibility of what is happening on the nearside of the cab. Analysis of the risk of introducing longer lorries found that increasing the length with current axle technology would increase the risk from low speed turning manoeuvres (in which cycle deaths usually occur) by up to 9%.

Allowing longer lorries would also undermine the advantages of sustainable alternatives to road freight. The assessment of the effects of lengthening lorries estimated a substantial long term shift to rail freight as a result of the move.

Over 1,300 CTC members wrote to their MPs objecting to the proposed introduction of longer lorries, but the Department for Transport (DfT) nevertheless decided to proceed with a 10-year trial of up to 1,800 longer lorries.

Although this may be a smaller trial than originally envisaged by the Department, CTC believes this would increase danger to cyclists, pedestrians and other road users.

Longer semi-trailer demonstration validates our concerns

In June 2013, the DfT invited concerned parties to see longer semi-trailers in use.

As a result of what they saw, The Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) concluded that: the safety, road damage and congestion effects were not fully addressed in the DfT’s research before the trial; longer semi-trailers are unsuitable for general use in urban areas and on local roads; and their manoeuvres (e.g. rear out-swing) could increase the risk of death or serious injury to cyclists and pedestrians. Read CBT's report.

This collection of photographic evidence proves that longer lorries do get stuck in tight spots and cause much disruption for other road users.