In response to David Cameron’s apparent openness to examining the case for peak-hour bans on lorries in cities, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) says the move isn’t the right way forward on vulnerable road user safety.
According to reports, the Prime Minister told the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cycling recently that he would ask Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to investigate the possibilities of several measures to improve cyclist safety, including possible HGV bans. But Christopher Snelling, Head of Urban Logistics at FTA, said:
“Even a medium-sized lorry would have to be replaced with 10 vans – which means overall safety would not be improved, let alone the emissions and congestion consequences. It has to be remembered that we don’t choose to deliver at peak times on a whim – our customers need goods at the start of the working day.”
FTA has written to the PM on the issue of cycle safety and is having ongoing discussions with the Transport Secretary and Department for Transport officials over the best ways to improve safety for all road users while preserving efficiency.
Christopher Snelling said:
“What we are looking at is the safety of everyone. For example while early morning is rush hour for cyclists, the pedestrian peak is later. Forcing deliveries outside morning peak would interact with another group of vulnerable road users.”
Christopher Snelling said there were a number of measures and actions that would be a better approach to making busy city roads safer. These include:
Increased targeted enforcement against HGVs and drivers that do not comply with safety regulations in key areas such as London
Improved road infrastructure, such as road surfaces and junctions
Tipper vehicle operators to commit and work to the Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety (CLOCS) standard
Incentives from Government to make lorries with better visibility more available and commercially viable
Allowing deliveries operators to work outside the peak, such as easing night-time restrictions like the London Lorry Control Scheme (that ends at 7am each morning)
Progressive improvement of safety standards for vehicle equipment from DfT, in line with what is possible for industry
Snelling added: “All road users have a role to play in improving road safety. Better awareness, training and behaviour is needed on all sides to make our roads as safe as they can be. Things can improve. The number of HGVs involved in fatalities in the UK has halved in the last 12 years, which shows the success of the progressive approach to improving safety.”