Fleet News

HGVs without safety equipment to be banned from London

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, Transport for London (TfL) and London Councils have given the go-ahead for a London-wide ban on any lorry not fitted with safety equipment to protect cyclists and pedestrians.

In a public consultation, the proposed Safer Lorry Scheme received 90%.

Traffic orders implementing the scheme are now being published, while the installation of road signs at the London boundary, training of police officers and information campaigns with drivers and hauliers have started.

The scheme will be enforced from September 1, as soon as all of the 600 warning signs are in place.

All roads in Greater London (except motorways) will be covered by the scheme. It will require vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes to be fitted with sideguards to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels in the event of a collision, along with Class V and Class VI mirrors giving the driver a better view of cyclists and pedestrians around their vehicle.  

The scheme will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will be enforced by the police, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and the joint TfL and DfT-funded Industrial HGV Taskforce (IHTF).

The maximum fine for each breach of the ban will be £1000. The operator will also be referred for consideration to the relevant Traffic Commissioner, who is responsible for the licensing and regulation of HGV operators.

The Mayor of London said: “Improving the safety of London’s roads is a top priority. We know that a large number of cyclist deaths and serious injuries involve a relatively small number of trucks and lorries that are not fitted with basic safety equipment.

“Such vehicles are not welcome in the capital and the Safer Lorry Scheme will see them effectively banned from our streets.

“The lives of thousands of cyclists and pedestrians will be much safer as a result and I urge all operators of HGVs to get on board and make it a success.”

The announcement was made at the second annual London Road Safety conference yesterday (Thursday, February 5), hosted by TfL, which brought together a wide range of partners and stakeholders, including the London boroughs, to promote collaboration and knowledge sharing on road safety.  

HGVs are disproportionately represented in cyclist fatalities in the capital. Of the 14 cyclist deaths in London in 2013, nine involved HGVs.

Although the number of serious collisions involving cyclists and HGVs in 2014 decreased, it remains one of TfL’s key commitments to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in London by 40% over the next five years.

In its assessment of the final detail of the scheme, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has stated that compliance costs to industry have been minimised by TfL's sensible approach to its implementation.

However, it still considers that this has not necessarily been the best way of improving cyclist safety and increased enforcement against those not complying with safety requirements would be a better approach.

FTA's head of policy for London Natalie Chapman, said: “FTA is pleased to see that the necessary exemptions and concessions for the vehicles for which this equipment is either not possible or not legal have been included within the requirements of the London Safer Lorry Scheme.

“However, in principle we believe that this kind of blunt regulatory tool is not the best way to improve cyclist safety.

“We still think that the money and effort spent on this scheme would have been better spent on increased enforcement against the small proportion of lorries that don't comply with existing regulations."

FTA now advises all operators to ensure that any lorry that may need to access Great London in future has sideguards and Class V and VI mirrors fitted before September 1, unless it is subject to one of the remaining exemptions or concessions.


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  • Graham Ellis - 06/02/2015 13:04

    Is this also going to apply to foreign vehicles? if so then there may well be supply problems if they cannot access London yet meet all current EU specified construction and use regulations. Could there also be a challenge in the courts?

  • Sage & onion - 06/02/2015 13:30

    “The lives of thousands of cyclists and pedestrians will be much safer as a result and I urge all operators of HGVs to get on board and make it a success.” Whilst I agree with the above sentiment, it would work much, much faster if Boris took the same "are not welcome in our city" approach to the numerous cyclists who still take unnecessary risks (and sometimes just to shave a tenth of a second off their journey) and also to the numerous pedestrians who are oblivious to traffic around them because they are too engrossed in their mobile phones or listening to music to drown out all the "caution left turn" alarms.

  • mark - 07/02/2015 21:46

    This is just another target at the LGV industry what about ENFORCING the laws such as jumping lights and junctions on CYCLISTS why not introduce a London wide cycle licence and identification plate that signifies wether that cyclist has insurance as well. This is just a way for BONKERS BORIS to fund his cycle super highway. Bet the cyclists are loving this. It's bloody disgusting. Maybe haulage companies need to boycott London,see what reception bonkers gets then when people aren't getting things they need

  • Alan Thompson - 07/02/2015 22:34

    I wonder is this extra safe guards that are to be added or the ones the vehicles are manufactured with . Either way safety to cyclists and pedestrians must come first

    • KJW - 09/02/2015 13:09

      @Alan Thompson - And where do you suggest personal responsibility fits into this? Many cyclists in London ride through red lights, constantly swap between lanes and regularly jump on and off the pavement, how does this extra legislation address this? have you actually walked anywhere recently, the majority of pedestrians under the age of 50 now walk around staring at their phones, and NOT where they are walking! I've been bumped into on numerous occasions by these idiots, who are probably addicted to their phones whilst driving. Personal responsibility, and not more legislation is the answer.

  • Steve Ashworth - 07/02/2015 22:45

    As an hgv driver I know my weaknesses around my vehicle in as far as blind spots are concerned. We are now at a point where all these extra mirrors are now creating not even more but more dangerous blind spots theat candid a cyclist in a previously cleat view for several seconds and this for an untrained cyclist of which there are many deadly It really is now time Boris Johnson and his cycling ilk git it into there heads that London cyclist's need training and some kind of certificate/licence themselves before being allowed on London streets.

  • Dominic Herbert - 08/02/2015 00:10

    You can have 50 mirrors. You only have one set of eyes. Educating the cyclists and enforcing the highway code with regard to their conduct would save far more lives and prevent far more injuries.

  • David Glossop - 08/02/2015 09:37

    So once again the responsibility is on the haulage companies to improve the safety of cyclists! Cyclists can carry on wobbling along, weaving in and out of traffic and jumping red lights, with no proper training and no sense of self preservation, to their hearts content! The most legislated industry in the country now have more ridiculous rules to abide by to protect the incompetent cyclists amongst us! Get a grip Boris! Go out in a lorry for a day in London and see what we have to contend with! You haven't got a clue!!

  • Ian Cranston - 08/02/2015 09:41

    Why is it that the blame is always laid at the foot of the lorry driver and yet although there is free training for any cyclist who lives or works in London, it is not compulsory for them to be either made to do training or to be regulated in some way. Too many cyclists regularly flout the rules of the road and take unnecessary risks. make cyclists MORE accountable for their actions and stop always blaming the innocent lorry driver.

  • Mark Robinson - 08/02/2015 10:25

    Always punishing the haulage companies. We are professional drivers. You don't even have to pass a test to ride a bike, never mind paying taxes and insurance. Regards. ( professional HGV driver)

    • daniel - 10/02/2015 17:03

      @Mark Robinson - Hello, there is no road tax, its included in council and corporate tax, road tax is VED and is based on the pollution of the car/lorry. Bikes, and electric cars dont pollute so therefore no VED/Tax. but cyclists will all pay council tax and therefore have a right to use the road, further its a fact that cyclists are fitter costing the NHS less money. And contrary to the usual painful comments here we are not all lycra wearing T1ts, sticking it up the inside of buses and lorrys, jumping lights and being a menace, most are law abiding boys and girls, who want to stay fit, save money and get to work a bit quicker, any device that helps me get home safe is welcome. Not that I would be silly enough to ride like an ass around a lorry. Some cyclists are crap, probably the ones who get killed, and theyve paid the price, dont tar us all with the same brush, same as I dont say all drivers are bad. just some. in summary better bike awareness and better cycling wil help, but safety aids eliminate the risk, would you really want to kill a cyclist even if its his/her silly fault, if a safety aid would have helped?. For one thing think of the paper work. PS Mark, I have two cars, and advance driving licence, and pay £50 in road tax (VED) a month and when I am cycling they are on the drive way. And my cycling buddy is an Articulated lorry driver too, so I have a good insite on this, his firm has sensors and cameras all round and its save more than a few idiots he would otherwise have not seen, kids mostly. Peace Lorry Drivers, lets stop hating on cyclists, you'd think we were the right wing branch of blooming ISIS

  • paul Aldridge - 08/02/2015 13:54

    Here we go again . Being a lorry driver I only have one set of eyes . When cyclist gone down both sides of you in traffic its a nightmare keeping an eye on both sides at once . More mirrors are not the answer . Educating cyclists to lorries blind spots would be better . How many of these accidents in London are caused by the lorry driver probably only 1 in 10 the rest is the cyclist going where he can't be seen or down the inside when the lorry is indicating left and already begun his manouvre . Prime example cyclist squashed between a bus and a car because he was riding like a plonker trying to weave through traffic I mean what chance gave u got when a cyclists does this .

  • David Horner - 09/02/2015 09:30

    OK so when’s this lunacy going to stop. If the cyclists don’t understand the characteristics of HGV’s, then they are a danger to one and all. The problem is that these Lycra clad demigods appear above the law and the enforcement of such. If an HGV is manufactured in accordance with the Construction and Use Regulations, maintained correctly and subject to statutory testing, then it’s safe. Should we perhaps be looking towards banning cyclists from using roads without cycle lanes?

  • galwaytt - 09/02/2015 09:38

    Lunacy. But all vehicles are subject to EU Type Approval - so where does London get the authority to make up bits of extra legislation on a whim ? I'd be questioning whether it's legal at all. The very idea of EWVTA is exactly that : European Whole Vehicle Type Approval. It's not EWVTA+Boris' Special Bits !!

    • David Horner - 09/02/2015 16:00

      @galwaytt - Exactly the point, BJ makes it all up to suit himself; and because compliance issues have now been relegated to Red Tape joe public takes it all in. I've spent the last 20 years working as an Occupational Health and Safety Manager within the oil and gas sector. I'm also a qualified Occupational Road Risk Assessor so know quite a bit about this subject. Many of the safety devices being proposed may well negate type approval; and because not many understand the prevailing legislation the bloke gets away with it.

  • david ellison - 09/02/2015 21:39

    Shouldn't cyclist now have to pass tests like old cycling proficiency exam, hold some form of insurance and have some form of identity on them like number plates I've seen shocking cycling from people who chance too many things that causes accidents sone not all are too busy trying to race somewhere and not considering other road users

    • Daniel - 10/02/2015 17:08

      @david ellison - Maybe we should actually because some cyclist are silly.

    • david ellison - 10/02/2015 22:23

      @Daniel - I think so I'm not on anyone's side here but seems to be cars vans lorries take the brunt of it all and all have to be regulated in some form like mot tax insurance and a driving licence but anyone can jump on a bike nowadays maybe I'm old school but the cycling proficiency exam was a good thing to have in its day and should if possible be brought back in some form at the end of the day we are all human and make mistakes that's life but all mechanical vehicles great or small must be singing of the same hymn sheet in some form and the operators of the vehicles as well

    • Daniel - 11/02/2015 09:26

      @david ellison - I'm a cyclist but not anti car ( im responsibl;e for a large van fleet too), I see both sides, and it is a minority on both sides, the sad fact is all cyclists get tarred and the comments here can be really scary for a father of three young kids who rides (safely) amongst you all. I cycled into Lewisham this morning, a great ride in from rural westerham, i rode with a few fast blokes, but only 1 was jumping lights, the other 8 or so guys didnt. So its not all cyclists, but comments here everytime anything to protect our squashy little bodys from cars ( regardless of fault) that almost always cwenter around, cyclists should be banned, killed, burned, one comment on a jaguar driver aid actually suggested a spike to got up our bums is scary given most on here operatte fleets. Some form of test might help that 1 tit this morning, he nearly got hit by a bus, he's fault too but lets be fair, he wouldnt have even dented the bus lol and is being a daft cyclist reason to want him dead?, Rapists and murderes dont get a death penalty sop its a bit strong to aim so much hatred as some idiots on bikes who just want to get to work. So yes all having training all having some synergy would certainly make for a happier world. I'm the fellow on the dark grey road bike, with an orange prostate cancer bag cover (from raising £0000's for them through cycling, and tons of lights. Give me a wave if you see me :)

  • Daniel - 10/02/2015 17:20

    This is all very heated, I dont think any one, cyclists or Boris Johnson is blaming the lorry drivers. Its acknowledgeing that lorrys are hard to drive, and a cyclist or pedestrian who is not paying attention, or potentially a lorry driver who's concentration slips is going to be a big deadly mess. Idiots are idiots and they drive cars, bikes and they walk too, its hard to teach some idiots either on bikes or in lorrys but squashing pedestrains and cyclsits is messy and stressful so for the sake of some safety aids we can take stupidity out of the equation. Mostly on my commute I feel safer around lorrys, who I give a very respectful wide berth to (I and I'm not the majority though, so sorry) its actually van drivers and car drivers scare me far more as they are unpredicable, lorry drivers are pretty solid. That said there have been a few cases where lorry drivers have simply turned left on cyclists on junctions as they have over taken, not the cyclist undertaking and killed them, in a few cases they have simply driven off without knowing they did it, in a recent case having known they did it. So its not all one sided here. But I do think more should be done to educate cyclists and to dispell this myth we are all tree hugging activistic light jumping pr4ts.

  • John Arnold - 19/02/2015 12:17

    Has anyone checked to see if the vehicles involved in these accidents comply with the suggested new legislation.

  • cliff bartle - 22/07/2015 09:36

    The problem with HGVs is that have become too big to be driven in Cities. We are trying to live with something that is too noisy, too heavy, too polluting and yet some people on here blame the cyclists and pedestrians for their "lack" of training and "sillyness". How many more people have to go under the wheels of these massive vehichles. Hopfully in the next Mayoral election we will get a London mayor who takes a radical approach to HGVs and totally bans them from London, abolishes the ERN which is being abused by HGV operators. France has for years banned any Lorry from being on French roads on Sundays and it is so nice to be without this blight one day a week. We are so backward in this country, we are completely in the hands of greed that we cannot stop and smell the roses rather than the smell of Diesel for one day a week like the French. Do we really love to wallow in a sea of polluted air and noise and disruption. England, London you have lost your way.

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