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‘Unsafe’ lorries could be banned from Croydon roads

‘Unsafe’ lorries could be banned from Croydon roads
Oct 01, 2016 Shaking Hands 0 comments
This post was first published on The Croydon Advertiser on /09/2016

‘Unsafe’ lorries could be banned from Croydon roads

Unsafe lorries classed as “dangerous” could be banned from Croydon streets, under new proposals by the Mayor of London.

Sadiq Khan announced this week he wants “unsafe” heavy good vehicles (HGVs) banned from London’s streets by January 2020.

They would all be given a star rating from 0 to 5 to rate them based on the level of vision the driver has from the cab.

According to the Mayor’s office, recent data shows that HGVs were involved in 22.5 per cent of pedestrian fatalities and 58 per cent of cyclist fatalities on London’s roads in 2014 and 2015.

There are around 35,000 of the zero star-rated “off-road” HGVs operating on London’s roads, and they were involved in around 70 per cent of cyclist fatalities involving HGVs in the last three years, the Mayor’s office said.

Under the plans, only HGVs of three stars or above – a “good rating” in the new Direct Vision Standard – would be allowed on London’s roads by 2024.

Cyclist Magda Tadaj was killed in a collision with a lorry in St James’s Road in May, although it is not known what rating that vehicle would be given.

Austen Cooper, of the Croydon Cycling Campaign, raised concerns about the road’s safety, with Stuart King, Croydon Council’s cabinet member for transport and environment, then launching an urgent review.

Mr King said vehicle weight restriction signs had become more visible on the bridge.

He said: “We’ve implemented and improved the signs for large vehicles travelling along that road so that it’s clearer sooner what restrictions are on the bridge.”

He said an inquest into Ms Tadaj’s death would help provide the council with any further information on how best to improve the road.

From the beginning of the next financial year, Transport for London (TfL) and the Greater London Authority will adopt the new Direct Vision Standard in all future contracts.

Mr Khan said on Friday: “I’m not prepared to stand by and let dangerous lorries continue to cause further heartbreak and tragedy on London’s roads.

“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.”

Mr Khan’s predecessor, Conservative mayor Boris Johnson, had unveiled a number of plans to help prevent deaths of cyclists including banning lorry drivers from turning left and potentially installing glass doors on lorries’ passenger sides.

However, the new mayor has since dropped the glass door proposal after research showed the proposal would have “little impact” on cyclist safety and “no impact” on pedestrian safety, the mayor’s office said.

The Road Haulage Association said “demonising” lorries was “unfair”.

Its chief executive Richard Burnett said: “We want to bring balance to the argument. We’re not convinced these measures are the solution – improved visibility isn’t going to sort the problem alone.”

Mr Cooper said Croydon Cyclist “welcome” the plans.

He said: “Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers all stand to gain if lorries designed in the 1970s for use in quarries are replaced with modern versions with minimal blind spots.”