Campaign continues to urge cyclists to get in touch with councils to ask them to sign up to safety standard

Transport for London (TfL) has today backed the Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling campaign from the London Cycling Campaign (LCC), which calls on councils throughout Greater London to pledge that their own vehicles and those of the contractors and sub-contractors they use comply with certain requirements regarding the safety of cyclists.

Supporting the campaign, Ben Plowden, Director of Planning, TfL Surface Transport commented: “Tackling the issues that dangerous lorries can cause to vulnerable road users is a core priority for TfL and London Cycling Campaign’s Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling campaign will help further drive this approach across the industry.

“If all London councils were to sign up to strict safety standards for their vehicles, together we can all help to create safer streets for vulnerable road users.”

London Cycling Campaign says that TfL’s support would not have been possible without the support its members and other cyclists in the capital who have lobbied local authorities to back its pledge, which asks the city’s 32 boroughs and the City of London Corporation to make the following commitment:

"We'll work to improve the safety of every Londoner by only signing new contracts with the safest haulage companies, which conform to the London Cycling Campaign’s Safer Lorries conditions. We also pledge to ensure our council-operated services meet the same standards."

Those standards are that all lorries, used by the council, its contractors and their sub-contractors will have:

A close-proximity warning system (visual or audible) to make the driver aware of cyclists and pedestrians who might hidden from view.This can include an appropriate CCTV camera or Fresnel lens where this provides an adequate alternative.

A Class VI mirror, sideguards, and prominent signage on the rear of the lorry warning cyclists not to undertake.

An external warning device to ensure nearby road users are aware of a planned manoeuvre.

The haulier will be a member of a reputable best-practice safety organisation, FORS or equivalent.

The pledge also requires that all drivers have:

A driving licence check with the DVLA (before starting on a contract), with their licence being rechecked regularly.
Taken the Approved Driver Training within 60 days of the contract starting, unless they’ve had this training within three years. The training must include TfL’s Safe Urban Driving course, with on-bike hazard-awareness training.

Passed a FORS e-learning Work-Related Road Safety module (or an approved equivalent) at least every 12 months.

The London Boroughs of Islington and Walton Forest have committed themselves to the pledge, and while the City of London Corporation has not yet done so, LCC says it “has achieved the highest standard for safety equipment and fleet management for its vehicles.”

Most other boroughs, coloured amber in the picture above, have made some progress, with the ones coloured red having a long way to go to meet LCC’s requirements.

You can find out the status of individual boroughs by clicking on their names on the LCC website, which will also give you a link to write to the borough concerned.


Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.


A V Lowe [621 posts] 5 years ago

2 things are missing from TfL commitment

1) Through Planning process and a commitment to continue the work of the re-established TfL Freight Unit, to eliminate or mitigate substantially the use of road haulage in truck or ton-miles for the substantial tonnage of exported construction site waste material, and the import of mixed (and perishable) concrete, and other bulk construction materials.

In doing (1) to recognise that this will substantially reduce the level of exposure of all road users - especially pedestrians and cyclists - to the hazard of collisions with large trucks, by substantially reducing the number of trucks and miles driven on city streets. Noting here that this additionally may make a substantial reduction in repair costs for the roads maintained by TfL and the London Boroughs, given the DfT report showing that the commonly used 4-axle 32T rigid tipper truck is potentially the most damaging vehicle running regularly on the UK roads network, and additionally that the substantial truck mileage generated by current practice delivers a major impact on air quality through its emissions footprint, this also has the potential to reduce the cost of bulk haulage to the developer, and generate revenue for rail lines outside peak hours, or the Port of London Authority through greater use of the river (2 trains or 1-2 barges would replace 100+ truck trips of 50-60 miles, moving materials).

2) Clearly recognise that there are currently available designs of truck cab best described as 'walk-in' where the driver is sitting practically on eye-level with pedestrians and cyclists outside, and the solid angles of direct vision (of the areas external to the cab) are substantially improved on those available from the traditional truck cab. In addition to the greatly improved visibility to note that injuries to drivers and other staff who slip and fall when climbing up/down to a high-level cab are effectively eliminated.

In line with this recognition to have a future policy to ensure that for all appropriate vehicles, new vehicles owned by TfL or the London Boroughs, or supplied by their outsourced service contractors, are delivered with cabs that provide eye-level direct vision of other road users. Many refuse vehicles are already specified in this way - but not by every Local Council. Some delivery trucks are now being specified this way also.