Chris Boardman, British Cycling’s policy adviser, has welcome the Labour party’s eight-point plan to improve the safety of heavy good vehicles on Britain’s roads in relation to injuring cyclists.

The former world and Olympic champion was present at Labour’s London Cycle Safety Summit on Wednesday morning, which was chaired by Shadow Transport Secretary, Mary Creagh MP. The summit was created in answer to the recent spate of cyclist deaths on the capital’s roads involving HGVs.

“The Labour Party has the opportunity to develop a solid set of targets and ambitions for cycling ahead of the 2015 general election,” said Boardman.

“The Get Britain Cycling inquiry report is a blueprint we would like to see all political parties use to develop robust plans for cycling in this country driven by appropriate targets and incentives.

“Cycling is the solution for so many problems that we currently have in this country. There is a huge obesity issue at the moment which in turn puts a huge strain on the NHS. Getting more people on bikes would also go a long way to tackling problems with pollution and congestion.

“It was encouraging to hear today’s announcement from Mary Creagh about Labour’s ideas to deal with the problem of dangerous HGVs. We will now fully consider her 10 point plan and will continue to work with all political parties to ensure that cycling sits at the heart of manifesto plans ahead of the 2015 general election.”

Creagh wrote in a column for the Evening Standard: “Labour’s eight-point plan for cycling aims to get more people on to two wheels more often. The more people cycle on our roads, the safer it becomes for all of us.”  

“So let’s end the blame game and get to work to make our capital’s streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians alike. Solving the problem of cycling safety needs education, enforcement and engineering. Labour’s HGV Safety Charter is an important first step on that journey.” 

Labour’s plan:

– Tough new rules for HGVs.
– A Cycle Safety Assessment of all new road schemes.
– Give local authorities greater responsibility to support cycling.
– End the stop-start approach to supporting cycling infrastructure.
– Encourage more people to commute to work by bike.
– Ensure that children and young people have every opportunity to cycle safely.
– Restore national targets to cut deaths and serious injuries and a new target to increase levels of cycling.
– Review of justice system and how it protects vulnerable road users.

Last week, Boardman issued an open letter to Mayor of London Boris Johnson, calling for urgent action to improve cycle safety.

In September, around 100 MPs from all political parties attended a commons debate on cycle safety.

  • Damian

    Robert, Your numbers are meaningless, since every fall and every collision is different. A collision with a car doing 30 mph could leave you uninjured, a collision with one doing 10 mph might kill you. The same goes for falling out of a third floor window. The effects will depend on how you land and what you land on. Nevertheless, some protection will generally be better than none. If you had the choice between being hit relatively gently on your unprotected head with a hammer and being hit in the same way with the same hammer while wearing a helmet, which would you go for?

    A lot of collisions result in a somewhat gentle impact to the head, and in such cases a helmet can have a significant effect on the outcome. A seatbelt won’t help if your car is run over by a tank. That doesn’t make seatbelts worthless though.

  • Robert

    Why is it that people so vastly over estimate the amount of ‘protection’ that a cycle helmet offers? Fact is, they are only designed to reduce the impact to 400g in a relatively minor fall generating no more than 90 joules, equating to a simple fall at less than 12 Mph. For higher impacts they offer absolutely minimal ‘protection’, and most often simply suffer from brittle fracture failure, so absorbing next to no energy at all. It is said that being in a collision with a car doing 30 Mph is the equivalent of falling from the third floor of a building. I would challenge any helmet wearing advocate to put on one of these miraculous life-saving devices, and prove its effectiveness by jumping off the roof of a 3 story building. This might at least bring it home to them the realisation that, even when a polystyrene hat is worn, such an impact is likely to have life-threatening consequences.

  • Steve

    Wow, with all these accidents with cyclists and HGVs, my team and I were really fearful of driving our vehicles in and around the city.

    First of, this has always been an issue and we have been working overtime to find a workflow for our company to avoid these situations.

    We came across loads of potential solutions but the one that really caught us was a Sat Nav system built for HGVs.

    These guys at PIE Mapping provide an HGV Sat NAV with this new cyclists alert system. Really cool device as this is the only device I’ve seen with cyclists alerts and London lorry Ban data.

    We do feel a lot safer knowing that we are using these devices and trying our best to avoid potentially dangerous situations.

    I think Labour should provide all Hauliers in and around London with these SAT NAVS and make it compulsory that truckers use these types of devices to cut the risks in the city.

  • gg/gg

    Speed limiters on cars.
    I ask a cyclist who is a “rep” if he would be upset if he was booked for doing 85mph on the Mway. His answer was “I certainly would”. That is 15mph over the limit. What would he do in a 30 limit?

  • Robin Featherstone

    Oh dear the only point I see with relation to HGV’s and bikes is to ban them at peak times lmfao does this mean that at off peak times bikes will be banned from the same roads?? If you restrict the times HGV’s can deliver the goods they carry then expect prices in the shops to increase as I for one would want more pay to work unsocial hours and then add the laws restricting working hours that already exist. Also can the writer of the article make up their mind is it a 10 point plan or an 8 point plan. just for info I am a HGV driver who cycles to work and have little issue with HGV’s on the roads I use they give me plenty of space its more car drivers using their mobile phones and not looking where they are going or trying to get there instantly.
    HGV’s have by EU law speed limiters fitted and have for around 20 years so why not cars??

  • gg/gg

    The usual excuses for not wearing a helmet. If a 30 tonner hit you a suit of armour would be no use. What helmets are worn for is, for protection in crashes from pot holes and bad riding from others and oneself and the occasional nudge by a vehicle. It’s amazing the anti thinking of the older riders; a cotton cap won’t protect the head against the tarmac. There is the recent incident of a young man who didn’t want to spoil his hair…………. nuff said

  • Dave M

    So, Chris Boardman is just another celebrity Labour supporter, the latest spin over substance ploy, he is daft to get involved with a political party and my respect for him has just diminished immensely. Not the way to sell bikes Chris, really silly mistake.

  • Samuel G

    It is not only older cyclists who object to compulsory helmet laws. It would be nice if it were possible to cycle on Britain’s roads without needing a helmet, and besides if you are hit by a tonne or thirty tonnes of vehicle a helmet doesn’t help much. A bit of political competition to appeal to cyclists is a good thing if it pushes the issues up the agenda and gets results. The eight point plan is good and would be even better if it was combined with a firm commitment to increased spending on decent infrastructure, perhaps as a fixed percentage of DfT budget.

  • martin critchlow

    Cycling now becomes the latest victim of political ping pong and one upmanship instead of proposing an stalking about issues action is required. notice nothing about making helmet wearing compulsory. Some of the older cyclist will be having a fit at that statement but the volume of traffic on the roads now dictate that helmet law must be included in any talks about cycle safety.