Construction firms working on projects commissioned by Transport for London could be forced to buy new bike-friendly lorries, TfL boss Sir Peter Hendy has said.
On Monday Sir Peter and Mayor of London Boris Johnson addressed representatives of the construction industry at a City Hall event where they spoke of the need to improve cycle safety in the capital.
The Mayor’s office say the event was planned before a recent spate of accidents which resulted in six deaths.
Mr Johnson said it was necessary to tackle the fears keeping cyclists off the road and reiterated his £913m plans to improve cycling infrastructure including constructing new cycle routes and superhighways and funding ‘Mini-Holland’ schemes in local boroughs.
But the Mayor said others also needed to face up to their role in making roads safer, telling delegates: “The role of lorries in cycle accidents is well known now – roughly half of all fatalities involve HGVs, though they are only 4 per cent of the traffic.”
Transport for London and the Mayor are lobbying the EU to implement a number of changes in the design and safety standards for HGVs.
They are also looking at ways they can drive change ahead of any legislative reform.
TfL already mandates the use by contractors of vehicles which incorporate safety measures such trixi mirrors and proximity sensors.
Demonstrating a new proof of concept vehicle commissioned by Laing O’Rourke, Sir Peter suggested the capital’s transport agency could go further and insist on the use of new vehicles which offer drivers greater visibility.
The vehicle demonstrated today includes a lower cab with larger window which allows drivers to more easily see low level objects in front of them. It also includes a fully glazed passenger-side door which allows the driver to see what’s alongside the vehicle.
A survey recently commissioned by the London Assembly’s Transport Committee revealed high levels of concern about the threat posed by HGVs.
On Tuesday the Committee will question witnesses, including the Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan, and TfL’s Garrett Emmerson about the poll’s findings.