HGVs and Cyclists

Plenary on 2009-12-09
Session date: 
December 9, 2009
Question By: 
Valerie Shawcross
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
Boris Johnson (Chair, TfL) and Sir Peter Hendy (Commissioner, TfL)


I have been asked to put the following question to you by a member of the public:

Do you think it is sufficient to rely on a voluntary scheme such as the Freight Operators Recognition Scheme when 8 out of 10 cyclist fatalities have involved collisions with lorries? Some cyclists would like to see a rush hour HGVs ban, what is your view on this?


Answer for HGVs and Cyclists

Answer for HGVs and Cyclists

Answered By: 
Boris Johnson (Chair, TfL) and Sir Peter Hendy (Commissioner, TfL)

TfL is very much aware of the issue of cyclist safety relating to HGVs and we are working on a number of initiatives to further improve cyclists' safety. Most recently we launched an autumn Cycle Safety campaign that seeks to raise awareness, among all users, of the need for safer and more responsible behaviour on the Capital's roads. The campaign has a particular emphasis on reducing the conflict between cyclists and goods vehicles. Please see the attached appendix for a summary of activities taking place within the campaign.

I do not believe there is case for a rush hour ban on HGVs entering London given the vital role Freight plays in supporting London's economy. Such a measure would be difficult to introduce, operate and enforce; and I doubt that it would be supported by freight operators or those reliant on their services - not least London's many businesses. Such a ban might encourage operators to use larger fleets of smaller vehicles, with potential knock-on effects on congestion and emissions. A better alternative, I believe, are Delivery and Servicing Plans (DSPs) which aim to reduce the number of freight trips overall, particularly during peak periods, and which are promoted through TfL's London Freight Plan. DSPs promote the consolidation of delivery and servicing activities so that fewer vehicles are needed and encourage out of hours deliveries where appropriate. DSPs also encourage the use of operators who have a proven record of safer operating practices and standards, such as those belonging to FORS.

I believe it is possible for HGVs and cyclists to share the road safely and TfL is pursuing the initiatives I described above to ensure this is realised. * Activities being promoted under the Autumn Cycle Safety Campaign include:

· Lobbying Central Government for more stringent safety measures on HGVs, for example retro-fitting of mirrors to give drivers better all-round visibility and side-guards to help prevent cyclists going under vehicles, · Encouraging goods vehicle fleet operators and those who use their services to adopt improved and safer operating standards and practices, for example through membership of the Freight Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS), · Publishing research that examines in detail cyclist fatalities arising from collisions between HGVs and cyclists and the lessons that can be learnt, · Launching a draft Cycle Safety Action Plan that will better co-ordinate and focus activity to improve safety conditions for cyclists and to encourage safer cycling & · Establishing a Cycle Safety Working Group drawing on the experience and expertise of a wide range of agencies to make sure the Action Plan is effective