Sian signs up to Cycling UK’s direct vision roadmap

Green Party Mayoral candidate Sian Berry addressing a Westminster crowd. Credit: Flickr CC, The Weekly Bull
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?

Berry joins Pidgeon in promoting the roadmap

As Cycling UK reported on 3 March, Liberal Democrat Mayoral candidate Caroline Pidgeon has already declared her support for Cycling UK's lorry safety proposals, which include our 'roadmap' for moving towards the widespread uptake of direct vision lorries.   

Today (Monday 14 March), Green Party Mayoral candidate Sian Berry joined Pidgeon in supporting Cycling UK's call for a ban on all lorries that do not meet direct vision requirements by 2025. 

Berry indicated that reducing lorry danger would be “an absolute priority” for her, and that it was “scandalous that vehicles designed for use on construction sites with high wheelbases for rough terrain and high cabs with poor vision are used routinely on our streets, in close proximity to people walking and cycling. It is also unfair on the drivers to expect them to drive through crowded city streets without a clear view of the people on the street alongside them.”

Concerning Cycling UK's roadmap Berry said: “I am happy to sign up to all the provisions of the Cycling UK roadmap for bringing in direct vision lorries. Using City Hall and borough procurement processes as a lever to reduce lorry danger will be fundamental to getting more people making daily journeys by bike and on foot.”

I am happy to sign up to all the provisions of the Cycling UK roadmap for bringing in direct vision lorries. Using City Hall and borough procurement processes as a lever to reduce lorry danger will be fundamental to getting more people making daily journeys by bike and on foot.

Green Party London Mayoral candidate Sian Berry

Sadiq pledges safer lorries and direct vision procurement 

Cycling UK wrote to the Mayoral candidates from all four major parties, asking for their support for Cycling UK's response to Transport for London's (TfL) consultation on extending its Safer Lorry Scheme. Both the Green and Liberal Democrat candidates replied positively, endorsing Cycling UK's proposals.

Labour Party candidate Sadiq Khan did not respond, so Cycling UK wrote to him again, pointing out that in his recent interview with Chris Boardman he had mentioned direct vision lorries, and asked 'can we roll these out?' Cycling UK told him the answer to that question was yes, and that direct vision lorries could be rolled out through TfL and London Borough procurement polices as proposed in our roadmap.

Last week, Khan published his Mayoral manifesto, which includes a commitment to promote safer lorries, and specifically a pledge to work "with the boroughs and using City Hall procurement to set new standards, moving towards City Hall and TfL contracts specifying direct vision lorries." 

Khan's manifesto is unclear on the timescale he envisages for moving towards specifying direct vision lorries, and Cycling UK will be asking him to clarify this if he does not agree with the timescales proposed within its roadmap. 

Three out of four 

With support for our roadmap or manifesto commitments from three of the four main party candidates, there is conspicuous silence from the Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith. Cycling UK is writing to his campaign team again today to clarify his position on safer direct vision lorries.

1,800 supporters back Cycling UK’s response to TfL’s consultation  

After submitting its response to TfL’s consultation, calling for more ambitious plans to make direct vision lorries the norm so that lorry drivers are able to see cyclists and pedestrians as easily as bus drivers can, Cycling UK asked supporters to respond to the consultation via its online tool, and endorse our roadmap proposals.  

Direct vision lorries give drivers a lower seating position in the cab, and surround them with glass panels rather than metal so that the cab looks more like the front of a bus than a traditional lorry. Cycling UK's roadmap calls for TfL and the boroughs to initially express a preference for these lorries in all procurement and planning decisions, then moving progressively towards banning direct vision lorries from London's roads.

Nearly 1,800 people used Cycling UK’s online tool to register their support for the roadmap. The consultation has now closed, but Cycling UK will be highlighting to TfL the various Mayoral candidate commitments on direct vision lorries and procurement, and will continue to seek a commitment from Zac Goldsmith’s campaign team.  

Cycling UK would like to thank all of those who supported our online action for safer lorries, which as previously reported is not just a London issue, as a move to direct vision lorries in the capital could then be extended to other parts of the UK.