London first city in UK to trial on-street cycle safety mirrors;
New awareness campaign warns cyclists that undertaking lorries at junctions can be fatal;
Agreement signed with the Freight Transport Association (FTA) to improve cycle safety in London.
The Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) today (6 July) unveiled three important new measures to tackle collisions between cyclists and lorries on London’s roads.
The first cycle safety (‘Trixi’) mirror to be trialed in a UK city has been installed on a traffic signal at a junction in Tooting. Trixi mirrors give drivers of large vehicles better visibility of cyclists at junctions, and 39 of them will be installed at traffic signals on London’s roads for a six-month trial period. The mirrors aim to reduce the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured in collisions with lorries. Thirty seven of them will be installed on the Barclays Cycle Superhighways pilot routes, with 31 in place before the scheme launches on 19 July.
The trial coincides with a thought-provoking new TfL poster campaign that illustrates the potentially deadly situation cyclists put themselves in if they ride up the left hand side of lorries at junctions. It carries the stark warning that undertaking at junctions can be fatal. And a Memorandum of Understanding has also been signed that commits the Mayor, TfL and the FTA to working together to improve cycle safety in London.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "Safety is the top priority of the cycle revolution that we’re bringing to London. That is why we are taking direct action to do everything we can to give cyclists and HGV drivers the tools and information they need to navigate our roads, and each other, safely. The Trixi mirrors will improve the visibility of cyclists and our poster campaign will increase their awareness of the danger of being on the inside of heavy vehicles at junctions. But I am especially pleased that the HGV industry has responded and is ready to act on this issue. Their commitment is important for us to be able to make the Capital’s roads even safer to cycle on."
A seven-point agreement that forms a Memorandum of Understanding will be managed by a working group made up of TfL and London’s key freight operators, and includes the following actions:
To identify specific locations and times of the day where loading and unloading activity or commercial vehicle routing might conflict with cycle routes;
To identify training needs for all road users, particularly cyclists and drivers of large vehicles;
To examine road traffic enforcement and engineering measures to find a balance between their enforceability and practicality.
Gordon Telling, Head of Urban Logistics Policy at the Freight Transport Association, said: "The FTA and its members have a culture of health and safety at the heart of their businesses and are delighted to be marking a commitment to greater co-operation and safer roads by the signing of this agreement. FTA members have invested heavily to make their vehicles safer for other road users and the agreement determines the best solutions to reduce casualties further, the Trixi mirrors pilot being an excellent example."
TfL is also encouraging existing cyclists or anyone planning to start when Barclays Cycle Hire and the Barclays Cycle Superhighways pilot routes launch later this month, to watch a two minute film on how to cycle safely around the Capital. The film is available to view at www.youtube.com/user/BarclaysCycle.
Ben Plowden, Director of Better Routes and Places at TfL, said: "Cycling is a wonderful way to get around London and the vast majority of cycle journeys are completed safely. Cycle safety has improved significantly in the last decade, despite the number of journeys more than doubling in that time.
"While the new Trixi mirror trial is an important tool in our ongoing work to tackle collisions between cyclists and HGVs, cyclists can also help themselves to stay safe on London’s roads. As our new awareness campaign makes clear, cycling in a lorry’s blind spot can, and tragically sometimes does, have fatal consequences. We hope this campaign will help inform London’s cyclists on how to position themselves safely on the road."