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CTC and CTC Scotland urge Scottish Transport Minister to take action on lorry danger

Gordon Seabright's picture
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The tragedies of recent weeks have focused attention on the safety of cyclists and pedestrians in London. However, CTC campaigns for safer roads across the UK, and we have been working on behalf of cyclists to make sure that the issue of dangerous HGVs is tackled everywhere.
Lorries pose a disproportionate threat to cyclists and pedestrians
Lorries pose a disproportionate threat to cyclists and pedestrians

Scotland has a much better record than London for deaths of cyclists in collisions with HGVs.  During 2013, CTC's Road Justice campaign has recorded two cyclists killed by lorries in Scotland.  We believe the Scottish Government has a valuable opportunity to take actions now to reduce the risk of replicating London’s problems.

On behalf of CTC Scotland, I have written to Keith Brown, the Minister for Transport and Veterans in the Scottish Government, with an offer to work with him and his officials to tackle HGV safety issues.  The Minister has already shown himself to be keen to work with the cycling community, and we have recommended three courses of action that could be taken now to improve the safety of cyclists and pedestrians.

First, the haulage and construction industry has failed to take responsibility for tackling its shortcomings.  The industry runs ‘Exchanging Places’ events, where cyclists get to sit in lorry cabs and see for themselves how poor the visibility is.  But there are lorries already on the market that are designed to provide much better visibility, and CTC Scotland would recommend pressure on the industry to adopt these designs without delay.

Second, while these vehicles are brought into use, the Scottish Government could adopt best practice from Paris, Dublin and elsewhere, where HGVs are kept off city streets at the busiest times of day.

Third, we know from the Freight Transport Association’s disparagement of even modest efforts on behalf of cycle safety that hauliers are dragging their heels.  CTC Scotland suggests that the Minister bring the issue home to those responsible for dangerous lorries, by advising the leaders of the haulage and construction industry that they will be called in so they can be held to account in person whenever a vulnerable road user is killed by a lorry. 

Scotland is a wonderful country for cycling, and through the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland it is taking the lead in promoting journeys by bike.  CTC Scotland is keen to work with the Scottish Government to make sure we avoid the dreadful results of policies that put lorries ahead of people.

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