Olympic gold medallist and former world champion Chris Boardman has issued an open letter to Mayor of London Boris Johnson appealing for an urgent review of Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) safety in the capital after a spate of cyclist deaths.

Boardman’s letter suggesting that lorries are banned during peak periods comes after six cyclists have died on the roads of London within two weeks. Nine of the year’s 14 cyclist fatalities in the capital have involved HGVs.

As British Cycling’s Policy Adviser, Boardman has been heavily involved in various cycle safety forums, and was present in March 2013 when Johnson unveiled his £913 million plan for cycling in London.

“When I rode alongside you to help you launch your vision for cycling in March this year, you made a verbal promise to look at the successful experiences of Paris and many other cities in restricting the movements of heavy vehicles during peak hours,” says Boardman.

“Let’s not waste this opportunity to do something now. The longer we delay, the more lives will be lost.”

“Improving HGV safety is a key aspect of our road safety manifesto. My colleagues at British Cycling are willing to help on this matter in whatever way they can.”

Related links

Boris Johnson unveils £913million plan for London cycling

  • edward hutton

    The road where I live has individual speed bumps ,As I was riding down this road

    a motorist shouted at me ( do you want all the road ) never mind the fact that the

    bumps were put there to slow down motor vehicles, To all road users please ride

    and drive safely its not worth the hastle TED HUTTON

  • Ric

    I just had a nightmare commute in to central London on roads that were being almost grid-locked by numerous construction-industry HGVs – several cement lorries, tipper trucks, cranes. There’s a building bonanza going on in London at the moment, as developers race to get luxury apartments up and sold to investors before Boris’s airport in the Thames Estuary is given the go-ahead and prices of such properties are leveraged even higher. I really doubt Boris is working on behalf of the ordinary residents of London, and as such I doubt he will tackle the issue of HGVs if this threatens to hamper the schedules of the developers.

  • Samuel G

    An HGV curfew would help but Johnson’s point about creating an HGV rush-hour when the curfew ends is a valid one that merits careful consideration. I would also like to see a review of employment law re the employment contracts of HGV drivers. In my experience the 4-axle rigid dipper trucks used by the construction industry are the worst offenders and my understanding is that they are paid per load tipped so are under a lot of pressure to drive fast and aggressively. Ideally all professional drivers would drive safely regardless of employment terms but sadly some don’t.

  • Robert

    Banning HGV movements at peak hours is exactly the sort of action that should be taken to protect London’s cyclists. A similar ban in in force in Paris and seems to be very effective. For example, in stark contrast to London, in 2011 not a single cyclist was been killed on the roads of Paris. Of course ‘Mad’ Boris won’t do this, and instead he has chosen to blame the victims of careless HGV and bus drivers instead, wittering on about headphones, saying that cyclists should obey the law and getting the police to harass cyclists who don’t wear polystyrene hats. This is despite the fact that even the head of the Met’s traffic division could not name one fatality where the cyclist wearing headphones was a factor, TFL’s own figures show that in only 6% of cases where a cyclist was killed or injured had they broken a traffic law and helmets offer minimal ‘protection’, being capable only of reducing the incidence of scalp lacerations and minor concussion in low-speed falls. The only positive aspect of all this is that it shows how Boris Johnson, despite the carefully cultivated ‘loveable eccentric’ image, is at heart just another hierarchical, right-wing Tory who whose natural inclination will always be to serve the interests of ‘business’ and higher-status members of society (such as the users of motor vehicles) at the expense of lower-status members of society, such as cyclists.

  • Phil Mynott

    Just heard a very unconfident officer from British Cycling speaking on this issue on Radio 2 Jeremy Vine programme the officer was very unconvincing in his advice – next time BC please put forward Chris Boardman or even better someone from the London region who actually experiences London traffic on a daily basis and if none available politely decline the interview.