CTC’s lorry campaign – what we're doing and what we’ve done:
- In 2000, CTC published ‘Delivering Safer Roads’ jointly with the Road Haulage Association (RHA). It highlighted the actions being taken by local authorities to reduce the risk that lorries pose to cyclists and made recommendations about lorry networking, planning, quality partnerships, engineering, enforcement, education and awareness and data collection.
- In 2008, Parliament passed the Crossrail Act, which, thanks to CTC’s campaigning in the years beforehand, included a commitment for all construction companies working on the project (a railway across London) to train their lorry drivers in how to share the road with vulnerable road users. The induction training course was developed with the help of various groups including LCC, CTC and RoadPeace.
- Since 2010, CTC has monitored cases in which cyclists have died or been seriously injured on the roads, including incidents involving lorries. Now our ‘Road Justice’ campaign, we are calling for high quality police investigations; better charging and prosecution decisions; and sentences that reflect the severity of an offence and discourage bad driving. Road Justice has also actively supported the victims and families of cyclists involved in collisions with lorries.
- In 2011, CTC and other groups warned the Government not to introduce dangerously long lorries on Britain’s roads and launched a letter writing campaign. 1,300 people objected to the proposals, but the Government still set up a longer lorry trial. When Road Safety Minister Mike Penning suggested to Parliament that the risks to cyclists had been assessed, CTC queried the assertion and learned that, to Mr Penning’s knowledge, no cycle-specific risk assessment had, in fact, been carried out. CTC maintains its objections to longer lorries, especially in the light of a report on the dangers that these vehicles undoubtedly pose to cyclists. See our ‘NO Longer Lorries’ campaign for more.
- Also in 2011, CTC played a key role in shaping the Times newspaper’s 8-point ‘Cities fit for cycling’ manifesto, which was inspired when Mary Bowers, a journalist from the paper, was hit and seriously injured by a lorry – she is still only minimally conscious. The manifesto called for: lorries to be fitted with safety equipment by law, ‘Trixi mirrors’ at junctions so that lorry drivers can see cyclists on their near-side: and cyclist awareness training. CTC’s Road Justice campaign condemned the light sentence handed to the driver involved in the collision with Mary Bowers.
- In early 2013, CTC voiced its opposition to Government proposals to raise the speed limit for goods vehicles on rural single-carriageway roads, saying this would worsen cycle safety on rural lanes.
- Also in 2013, CTC contributed to the parliamentary ‘Get Britain Cycling’ inquiry and report. The report's 18 recommendations included improvements to HGV design, driver training, mutual awareness with cyclists, promotion of rail freight, restrictions on HGVs on the busiest urban streets at the busiest times and the use of public sector projects to drive fleet improvements.
- Later that year, in September, CTC welcomed a package of measures for London which included a new task force to take direct action against dangerous HGVs; calling on the EU to speed up its review on lorry design to make it easier for drivers to see cyclists and pedestrians; and a look at levying a ‘safer lorry charge’ on any HGV which is not fitted with basic safety equipment to protect cyclists. CTC was disappointed when the Freight Transport Association (FTA) called the proposed safer lorry charge “unprecedented and authoritarian” and wrote to them in protest.
- CTC has been a member of ‘Action on Lorry Danger’ for several years. Other members include RoadPeace, Living Streets, London Cycling Campaign and British Cycling. The group meets regularly and it makes recommendations to TfL, the police and hauliers. Although focused on London because the lorry/cyclist problem is so acute there, the group hopes to influence what happens in other urban areas elsewhere.
- Over the years, in its more general road safety campaigning work, CTC has constantly highlighted the contribution that lorries make to hostile road conditions for cyclists, e.g. in our response to London’s draft Cycle Safety Action Plan (2009) and in our evidence to the House of Commons Transport Committee’s Inquiry into the Strategic Framework for Road Safety (2012).
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