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Hold hauliers to account over cyclist fatalities, says CTC

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CTC has today written to urge the Transport Minister to adopt a dramatic new approach over cyclist fatalities that involve HGVs. It's cost-free and needs no legislation, but will put vulnerable road users at the front of the minds of those running the haulage industry.

CTC has been campaigning on behalf of cyclists and cycling for well over a century, and we always try to take a positive view; we’re passionate about the benefits of cycling and we want more people to enjoy them. 

However, it is impossible not to feel anger after a terrible nine days in which six cyclists have been killed on Britain's roads - 5 of them in London and all of them involving large vehicles. We believe urgent action is needed.

During the period 2008-2012, 102 cyclists were killed by heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) in Great Britain, an average of 20 each year. Goods vehicles represent only around 3.6% of non-motorway motor traffic mileage on all the roads of Great Britain, yet are on average involved in 18% of the road deaths of cyclists each year (and, in 2012, 15% of deaths of pedestrians).

Most collisions between cyclists and goods vehicles occur during lorry manoeuvres and/or at junctions. Roundabouts and left turns are a particular problem.

These figures aren’t improving.  During 2013, CTC’s Road Justice campaign has already recorded six cyclists killed by HGVs in England (outside London) and one in Scotland - see details below.

Many cyclist fatalities involving goods vehicles happen in London.  Large goods vehicles were involved in five of the 14 cyclists’ fatalities there in 2012 (i.e. over a third), and already during 2013, we know of eight cyclists  killed in collisions with HGVs in London, including two within 8 days earlier this month (November 2013). 

Our detailed analysis of casualty rates outside London from 2005-2009 shows that they were particularly high in Lincolnshire, Greater Manchester, Northamptonshire, Wiltshire, Cambridgeshire and Essex. The youngest victim was 10 years old, the oldest 91.

CTC has long campaigned on this issue, and we provide detailed briefings on policy around HGVs and safety.  However, the haulage industry has completely failed to take responsibility for tackling its shortcomings. In Dublin and Paris, certain HGVs have been banned from using city streets at busy times of day.  Yet in Britain, even though we know that HGVs cause preventable deaths of cyclists and pedestrians, we continue to allow them free access. 

The industry could move to using safer vehicles with low driver positions, which are already on the market, but they choose not to introduce them in significant numbers.  Instead they run occasional schemes called “Exchanging Places”, in which cyclists are invited to sit in lorry cabs and see for themselves how limited the visibility is.  In other words, hauliers are demonstrating how unfit to share the roads their vehicles are, and expecting vulnerable road users to take responsibility for avoiding them.

We know from the Freight Transport Association’s disparagement of even modest efforts on behalf of cycle safety by government that hauliers refuse to take this issue seriously.  Until they do, CTC would like to see the leaders of the haulage industry called in to see the Transport Minister and explain themselves in person every time their HGVs kill a cyclist

The Minister has an opportunity open to nobody else; by dramatising the problem and causing personal discomfort to those responsible he can focus their minds on making changes that are already available to them and already effective outside the UK.  This approach has been used by the chairs of influential Parliamentary Committees to capture the attention of similarly complacent industries such as banking and energy.

Cyclists and pedestrians needn’t be dying due to HGVs. CTC recommends a number of actions that could save lives and calls for further research into them.  We would be glad to work with the Government to develop policy accordingly, and we strongly believe that stricter regulation of this dangerous industry is needed.

But this is urgent.  As a starting point we have today written to urge the Transport Minister to adopt our dramatic new approach, which will require no legislation and cost the government nothing, but will finally put the safety of vulnerable road users at the front of the minds of those running the industry responsible for this appalling number of avoidable deaths.

* * *

The tables below list the cyclists killed and injured in London and the rest of the UK by lorries in 2013 that have been reported on CTC's Road Justice campaign website. If you know of others that are not listed here, please get in touch.

Table 1: Cyclists killed in London by lorries in 2013

Name & date

Gender & age

Location

 Dr Katharine Giles 08/04/2013

 Female 30s

Victoria Street

 Philippine de Gerin-Ricard 05/07/2013

 Female 20

Aldgate East, CS2

 Alan Neve 15/07/2013

   Male   51

Holborn Circus

Clive Richards 05/08/2013

   Male   67

Archway Road

 Unknown 04/09/2013

 Female Unknown

Thurlow Park Road, West Dulwich

 Unknown 15/09/2013

 Female 30s

Houndsditch Junction

 Brian Holt 05/11/2013

   Male   62

Mile End Road, CS2

 Venera Minakhmetova 13/11/2013

 Female 24

Bow roundabout, CS2

       Richard Muzira
            18/11/2013
      Male  60     Camberwell Road

 

Table 2: Cyclists killed in UK (outside London) by lorries in 2013 

Name & date

Gender & age

Location

Stewart Gandy
12/11/2013

Male
65

A530, Nantwich, Cheshire

Unknown
02/09/2013

Unknown
53

Medway Road, Gillingham, Kent

Unknown
25/07/2013

Unknown

A403, Avonmouth, Bristol

Andrew McMenigall
02/07/2013

Male
47

A30, Cornwall

Toby Wallace
02/07/2013

Male
36

A30, Cornwall

Douglas Brown
11/07/2013

Male
79

B9080 Winchburgh, West Lothian

Sean Ruff
21/05/2013

Male
61

A66, Eaglescliffe, County Durham

 

Table 3: Cyclists injured in London by lorries in 2013

Name & date

Gender & age

Location

Dag Lindberg
19/04/2013

Male
20s

Gray’s Inn Road

Unknown
03/09/2013

Male
20s

Tower Bridge Road

Unknown
21/10/2013

Female
20s

Camden High Street

Unknown
13/11/2013

Male
30s

Millbank

Unknown
31/05/2013

Male
35

Putney

 

Table 4: Cyclists injured in UK (outside London) by lorries in 2013

Name & date

Gender & age

Location

Unknown
13/08/13

Female
50s

Newgate Lane, Fareham, Hampshire

Unknown
21/08/13

Male
50s

A6036, Bradford, West Yorkshire

Kieren Pratchett
21/03/2013

Male
18

Ipswich Road, Ipswich, Suffolk

Unknown
13/03/2013

Female
Unknown

Beaumont Street, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire

Unknown
30/01/2013

Male
38

A654, Drax, North Yorkshire

Guardian Journalists Peter Walker and Guy Grandjean last week produced this excellent  first hand report on cycling the superhighway.

 

 

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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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