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Has the Minister misled Parliament over longer lorries?

Chris Peck's picture
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Mike Penning MP, the Road Safety Minister, suggested to Parliament that the risks to cyclists from longer lorries had been assessed. There is no evidence from any published document that it has.
25m long lorry in Sweden (proposed British ones are shorter than this!)
25m long lorry in Sweden (proposed British ones are shorter than this!)

Questioned about the longer lorries trial in the House of Commons in September 2011, road safety Minister Mike Penning MP claimed that:

"We considered carefully whether longer semi-trailers posed a risk to cyclists in particular, and the risk is not there."

A subsequent written question (the reply to which was drafted by officials) established that no such 'careful consideration' took place.

"The revised Impact Assessment published with the Government's Report on the Consultation into longer semi-trailers does not disaggregate the safety risk between different categories of road user."

CTC wrote to the Minister requesting evidence to back up the original assertion, to which no adequate response came (see correspondence to and from the Minister below).

The Minister has since confirmed in a meeting with the All Party Cycling Group that, to his knowledge, no cycle-specific risk assessment was carried out.

This inaccuracy came at a very sensitive time - his assurance that cyclists would not be put at risk could be argued to be a misleading statement. CTC has been pressing the Minister to at the very least put on record a correction.

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Letter from Mike Penning MP to CTC744.99 KB
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  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Paul Tuohy
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541

 

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