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Should Lorries Fit Extra Safety Equipment?

London Councils Launches Public Consultation Into HGV Safety Measures


The public are being consulted on potential reforms aimed at reducing the number of accidents involving cyclists and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

London Councils are seeking people's views on possible changes to the London Lorry Control Scheme - an initiative that restricts the movement of lorries over 18 tonnes to certain times.

The organisation has outlined plans to force the owners of large vehicles to fit extra mirrors and side guards in order to cut the number of serious collisions with cyclists across the city.

Although EU and UK legislation stipulates that most HGVs should have side guards and close proximity mirrors installed, a number of vehicles are excluded from these regulations.

These include cement mixers, tipper trucks, waste disposal vehicles and other construction trucks.

The public consultation will be left open until 28 February and respondents can submit their views online.

A spate of fatal accidents in November 2013 raised concerns about the safety of cycling in and around London and the government is keen to improve the situation.

Numerous safety measures have been identified, ranging from low-level traffic lights and wider cycle lanes to compulsory camera technology for lorries and further restrictions on truck movement at peak times.

Chair of London Councils' Transport and Environment Committee Catherine West said: "The tragic number of cyclist fatalities in London recently has heightened concerns about cycle safety, particularly the risk of collisions with larger vehicles."

She believes the proposed side guard and extra mirrors reforms would help to improve safety standards across the capital.

"This proposal to amend the Lorry Control Scheme permit conditions is a positive action London Councils can take forward quickly to help tackle this problem," she added.

The London Lorry Control Scheme is primarily aimed at striking a balance between ensuring Londoners can get a good night's sleep without being woken up by lorries and allowing haulage organisations to make essential deliveries.

HGVs over 18 tonnes are prohibited from travelling in certain parts of the city between 7pm and 9am on weekdays and from 1pm on Saturdays until 7am on Mondays. The scheme currently has 56,000 permit holders.

Expert Opinion
The safety of the cyclists needs to be a top priority in the capital. If the extra mirrors and side guards improve visibility and overall safety of the cyclists on the roads, especially in London, then such measures are a must-have for all HGVs.

“This particular issue has never been more important after 14 cyclists were killed on London roads in 2013, a number which is simply too high and must be reduced.

“We have seen first-hand the devastating consequences of cycling accidents and the impact injuries can have on the lives of those affected, so it is welcoming news that measures may be put in place to improve the safety of cyclists.”
Stephen Nye, Partner

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