Plans proposed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan could see up to 35,000 lorries banned from the capital, to aid the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.
The new proposals include a rating system for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGCs) based on the driver’s level of vision from the cab. The ratings would see an initial 35,000 vehicles banned by 2020, with only those with at least three stars being allowed. Significant safety changes to lorries are already due to come into force by 2019, and so if these standards are adhered to, not as many would face the ban.
Nine cyclists and sixty six pedestrians were killed in London last year, according to Transport for London figures – and 23% of pedestrian detahs and 58% of cyclists deaths were due to HGVs. Considering that HGVs account for just 4% of the miles driven in the city, this seems somewhat disproportionate.
So is this a proportional solution to the risks? The Road Haulage Association says not, accusing the Mayor and TfL of ‘demonising lorries’, with their Chief Executive Richard Burnett stating the proposed system was an “imposition of unnecessary rules on haulage firms”. However, Mr Khan said on the matter: “I’m not prepared to stand by and let dangerous lorries continue to cause further heartbreak and tragedy on London’s roads”.
Former Mayor Boris Johnson proposed a new requirement for all lorries to have a new side window fitted for better visibility – but this has yet to be introduced.
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Author Lex Barber