With the number of people walking and cycling in the capital rapidly increasing and the Mayor’s focus on active travel and healthy streets, it is important that we all share the roads safely and responsibly. And progress is being made – across the UK the number of HGVs involved in fatal collisions has halved in the last 10 years.
Despite the impression given by the media, the improvement is also being seen in London with cyclists. Over the last five years alone, the number of cyclist fatalities in London involving HGVs per cycling journey, has decreased by almost 30 per cent. However, no death or injury is acceptable and we must work towards Vision Zero. So, the task now is how to continue this improvement whilst still allowing freight to deliver on society’s needs.
What is FTA campaigning for?
1. Improve enforcement of existing HGV regulations. The freight industry is very highly regulated. Goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes are subject to operator licensing, construction and use regulations and other roadworthiness requirements. Drivers of these vehicles must have the appropriate licence, a Driver CPC and are subject to drivers’ hours rules. A small minority of HGV operators do not adequately attempt to keep their drivers or vehicles safe – and TfL tells us these rogue operators are over represented in cycling fatalities, as well as other collisions.
2. Improve infrastructure for cyclists, minimising impact on deliveries. London’s roads are currently undergoing huge changes with the reallocation of road space to cyclists and the development of the new stretches of segregated and non-segregated cycling infrastructure. FTA supports the superhighway approach in principle, both the intention to engineer the roads to improve safety for cyclists, as well as to encourage more people to switch from private cars to bikes. However, it is essential that a sensible balance is achieved between the needs of different road users so that best use is made of limited road space to benefit London overall. Plans for any new routes must consider access to the kerbside for deliveries and servicing activity and potential increases in journey times.
3. Reform night-time delivery restrictions. Enabling business to make more deliveries at night would remove some lorries from the road at peak times when cyclists and others are most prevalent. Cycling campaigners are calling for lorry bans at peak times – it is perverse to be even talking about this whilst public authorities in London still restrict our ability to deliver before that peak.
The case studies set out in FTA’s Shared Vision document demonstrate some of the best practices being used by well-known companies involved in logistics. These measures are designed to help improve pedestrian, cyclist and motorcyclist safety. It shows the technology being installed to prevent collisions or to mitigate their consequences when they do happen. It also sets out the ways logistics operators contribute to increasing other road users’, and public, awareness about how to use the roads safely.
Find out more
Contact Natalie Chapman, Head of South of England and Urban Policy at FTA