Lorries that pose a risk to cyclists could be banned from the streets of London under a new rating system for heavy goods vehicles (HGV) in the capital proposed by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
Transport for London has introduced a stringent rating system called the Direct Vision Standard for lorries based on how well the driver can see other road users. Vehicles are rated from zero – for those with poor visibility from the driver’s cab – to five for those with excellent all-round vision.
Those rated zero will not be allowed on London’s roads by 2020. Estimates currently set the figure of lorries on London’s roads that would be rated to zero at 35,000. Those rated two or below will be banned by 2024.
According to Transport for London statistics, HGVs were involved in 58 per cent of cyclist fatalities in the capital in 2014 and 2015. Of those incidents, 70 per cent involved lorries that are rated zero in the Direct Vision Standard.
“I’m not prepared to stand by and let dangerous lorries continue to cause further heartbreak and tragedy on London’s roads,” said Khan.
“The evidence is clear – HGVs have been directly involved in over half of cycling fatalities over the last two years, and we must take bold action to make our roads safer for both cyclists and pedestrians.
“I’m determined to ensure the most dangerous zero star-rated lorries are removed from our roads completely by 2020. Our ground-breaking Direct Vision Standard will be the first of its kind in the world, directly addressing the issue of lethal driver blind-spots. I’m also proud that TfL will lead by example and will not use any zero-star lorries in its supply chain from the new financial year.
“By continuing to work closely with industry, using TfL and public sector procurement and announcing our plans now, I’m confident that many of our lorries will now be upgraded well before the ban comes into place, and the benefits of a new era of modernised and safer HGVs felt by all road users across London.”
Leon Daniels, managing director of Surface Transport at TfL added: “Lorries designed in the 1970s and for use in a quarry have no place on the streets of a 21st century city.
“Our Direct Vision Standard has been developed using extensive technical research and builds on the success of working in partnership with both vehicle operators and manufacturers through the award-winning CLOCS [construction logistics and cyclist safety]. It will help bring the whole lorry fleet up to modern safety standards. The right lorry in the right place keeps a city functioning.”