Lorries face London ban over safety

Lorries face London ban over safety

Lorries won't be allowed to travel in London unless they have safety equipment fitted to protect cyclists and pedestrians, it has been announced.

Transport for London (TfL) and local authorities have jointly agreed the new traffic ban, which will come into play by the end of the year affecting all lorries above 3.5 tonnes.

Accepted HGVs will have to be equipped with sideguards to prevent cyclists from being dragged under wheels, as well as mirrors to enhance a driver's view of cyclists and pedestrians.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said those not complying with the new regulation would face a "hefty" fine. The ban will be enforced by CCTV cameras and on-street checks.

London's transport commissioner Sir Peter Hendy said London has long led the way in working with the freight industry to raise standards, including greater road safety.

Sir Peter added: "TfL will work with the London boroughs to deliver this proposed Safer Lorry Scheme and further demonstrate our commitment to safer roads for all."

There were 14 cyclist deaths in the capital in 2013, including nine involving HGVs.

RAC head of external affairs Pete Williams said: "The RAC welcomes any measure which helps improve safety for all road users and clearly with the growing interest in cycling there is a need for greater prominence of cycle safety.

"Many of our members are cyclists as well as drivers and we are keen to see greater awareness of the needs and risks presented by modern road use to, potentially, vulnerable cyclists.

"The latest Government figures show that fatalities on our roads are at their lowest ever level, but sadly the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured actually increased from 107 in 2011 to 118 in 2012.

"With more people taking to two wheels following our cycling successes at the Olympics and in the Tour de France, this London initiative is an important step in securing the safety of cyclists so that this figure does not continue to rise in the future."

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