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Supplies to the city will be affected, and streets will be deluged with HGVs around the hours of the ban, says spokesman

A ban on HGVs in cities during peak hours is not the answer when it comes to protecting cyclists, the Freight Transport Association has said.

Although the organisation concedes that more needs to be done to improve cycling safety, it says that the idea, already in place in cities like Paris and Dublin, is unworkable, and would affect commerce and supply in towns and cities.

Christopher Snelling, FTA’s Head of Urban Logistics Policy said: “FTA believes that the idea of banning HGVs from a city like London in peak hours is naive and not commercially viable. “It would mean massive economic implications for the shops, businesses and residents of the capital.

“It would also create new safety issues as one lorry is replaced by about 8 – not to mention the increased congestion and air pollution that would result.

“Paris only restricts the largest trucks, above about 28 tonnes gross weight. Very few trucks of this size operate on London’s roads because there is already a long-standing ban on articulated vehicles in the central area.”

He added that the ban would just lead to a deluge effect of lorries just before and after the hours of the ban, and said that the supply of fresh and baked goods to cities would be affected at exactly the time shops and bakeries would need them, and more crucially medical and hospitality supplies would be affected too.

He said: “Paris also exempts a long list of vehicles, including all construction traffic – the vehicles that are most represented in recent cycling fatalities. The Dublin scheme is not a ban at all, as any vehicle of any size can move about and deliver or collect anything anywhere at any time, as long as they pay a €10 fee.”

“It is too simplistic to cite Paris and Dublin as examples of where HGV bans work as in practice very few vehicles are denied access to the city centres that need to be there.

“The reality is that the city authorities recognise that goods deliveries are essential to the efficient functioning of the city and permit them round-the-clock access.”

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson told BBC London 94.9 he was not convinced by the argument for a peak hours ban this week, but admitted there needed to be a "much bigger conversation about HGVs".

He said imposing a peak-time ban risked damaging London companies and creating a "serious influx as soon as the ban is over", and added that he was "by no means satisfied" the idea was the solution, although he said “we are not dismissing any suggestion."

But Chris Boardman, British Cycling's policy adviser, is pushing for the idea to be tested.

In an open letter to the mayor he said he would be breaking a promise not to look at ways of banning HGVs.

He said: "When I rode alongside you to help you launch your vision for cycling in March this year, you made a verbal promise to look at the successful experiences of Paris and many other cities in restricting the movements of heavy vehicles during peak hours.

"London has an opportunity to emulate and surpass Paris and to lead the way for the other ambitious cycling cities across Britain.

"Let's not waste this opportunity to do something now."

The FTA is now lobbying against the idea, with Snelling saying that other avenues should be explored first.

He said: “One death is too many and we must all do more to improve safety – cyclists, public authorities, public transport and HGV drivers and operators included.

“But banning HGVs is a simplistic response with massive economic and transport impacts and an un-quantified safety case. Any measures taken should be intelligent, targeted and evidence based if we are to improve safety whilst allowing our cities to function.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

50 comments

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kraut [108 posts] 2 years ago
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How about banning HGVs with dangerous blindpots?

It's 2013 - cameras are cheap, blindspots are easy to rectify. There's simply no reason to allow vehicles with dangerous blindspots on the roads, much less into crowded city streets.

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Belaroo [44 posts] 2 years ago
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I notice they've ignored cities it has worked, like Utrecht in the Netherlands where the ban started because the bridges in the centre weren't strong enough. That was the bit I noticed the most when I visited, the lack of huge imposing lorries. There's construction going on everywhere, they are totally remodelling the centre including putting the canal back in, they manage fine, even the temporary cycle facilities are 20 times better than anything we have here.
The big gyratories and 4 lane bits you find in London are the dangerous bits so the segregation argument is still the more compelling one. It's the bits like Camden down to Kings Cross and Bow that would always carry heavy vehicles anyway - put proper provision for bikes and good pedestrian crossings and less people will die.

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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Yes it is, next?

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gazza_d [460 posts] 2 years ago
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I've suggested for while that left hand drive makes more sense for trucks, especially in urban areas where there are lots of people walking and cycling.

Also authorities need to stop build skinny cycle lanes down the left hand edge of a traffic lane. Make them a full lane's width, and have a separate green stage for cycles to get them all the way across a junction

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jugster [40 posts] 2 years ago
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There's a surprise; Boris trying to kick it into the long. Just so long as business is pandered too, eh?

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jugster [40 posts] 2 years ago
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There's a surprise; Boris trying to kick it into the long. Just so long as business is pandered too, eh?

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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kraut wrote:

How about banning HGVs with dangerous blindpots?

It's 2013 - cameras are cheap, blindspots are easy to rectify. There's simply no reason to allow vehicles with dangerous blindspots on the roads, much less into crowded city streets.

With typically six mirrors and three windscreens to monitor already, it must be appreciated that any mirror or screen (or indeed cameras) that are not being looked at at any given moment, are, in effect, blindspots, in addition to the physical blindspots around the lorry.

Too many things to look at can be a retrograde step once a lorry is moving. You can assess your own limitions by seeing how many TVs you can competently (and I do mean competently) watch simultaneously, next time you're in an electrical showroom.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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As an hgv driver, I sometimes think the Freight Transport Association are their own worst enemy, but in this case they are right.

From experience, I know that roads can become extremely dangerous in the "rush" when a restriction starts and ends. Restrictions make delivery schedules so tight that corners are cut. And, for those on "pay per load", any further restrictions will just make things even more, er, competitive.

A better alternative, is to remove the cause of all this desperate rushing around by lifting hgv restrictions altogether so that drivers can concentrate on their surroundings, as opposed to the clock.

Frankly, Mr Boardman's lorry ban idea is just as ill judged as the calls for complusory helmets from some of our top cyclists.

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sm [382 posts] 2 years ago
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“It would mean massive economic implications for the shops, businesses and residents of the capital."

Really?

“It would also create new safety issues as one lorry is replaced by about 8"

Agreed, but there would be fewer cyclists.

"Not to mention the increased congestion and air pollution that would result."

How so? It's the same number of lorries, just arriving at different times.

Have I read somewhere that a city has banned all lorries at all times? Or a supermarket is already doing this? Large trucks drop off trucks to smaller trucks for multiple deliveries because it is quicker?

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LondonCalling [149 posts] 2 years ago
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These are the typical issues that arise when we put proffits before life itself. This is all about money.

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Colin Peyresourde [1724 posts] 2 years ago
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Neil753 wrote:

As an hgv driver, I sometimes think the Freight Transport Association are their own worst enemy, but in this case they are right.

From experience, I know that roads can become extremely dangerous in the "rush" when a restriction starts and ends. Restrictions make delivery schedules so tight that corners are cut. And, for those on "pay per load", any further restrictions will just make things even more, er, competitive.

A better alternative, is to remove the cause of all this desperate rushing around by lifting hgv restrictions altogether so that drivers can concentrate on their surroundings, as opposed to the clock.

Frankly, Mr Boardman's lorry ban idea is just as ill judged as the calls for complusory helmets from some of our top cyclists.

Agree. Good post. Those agreeing with the ban don't appear to have a good grasp of the realities. No one owns the roads. In order to meet the demands of urban living I'm not sure you can do without large vehicles. The reason why Paris and Dublin are held out as examples is that they are capital cities. If you want to make comparatives you need to have something approaching a similar size. Paris is similar to London and I'm not sure that there is an effective ban there. Paris is also not undergoing the same level of change as London at present. Sensibly they made some good infrastructure changes back in the nineteenth century. Profit is always going to be an issue. No one lives in a city because they enjoy living in a urban sprawl, it's because that is where the jobs are. So something which adversely affects the companies based there is not going to work.

As to blind spots - as Neil says, you can't monitor everything. The better thing to do is to stay out of them. As a cyclist you have a choice.

If you don't try to work with others on the road then they will likely tell you to put on a helmet, wear more lights and not have headphones in, because you don't appreciate the issues that face them....

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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sm wrote:

“It would mean massive economic implications for the shops, businesses and residents of the capital."

Really?

“It would also create new safety issues as one lorry is replaced by about 8"

Agreed, but there would be fewer cyclists.

"Not to mention the increased congestion and air pollution that would result."

How so? It's the same number of lorries, just arriving at different times.

Have I read somewhere that a city has banned all lorries at all times? Or a supermarket is already doing this? Large trucks drop off trucks to smaller trucks for multiple deliveries because it is quicker?

An hgv, when pushed hard to comply with additional restrictions windows, can produce three times as much pollution. One artic does 10mpg. Ten vans might collectively only do 2mpg. In London alone, 3,000 people die each year from vehicle particulate related illnesses. Although one cyclist death is one too many, most people would appreciate that pollution is a bigger problem than cyclist deaths.

Even higher prices in the shops, as a result of increased transport costs, will have a detrimental effect on those close to destituion, particlarly the elderly, the disabled, and those with young children.

The detrimental effects to health, for those required to work shifts, is well known, and will add a burden to a health service that is already at breaking point.

Increased hassle (ie more varied shift work) increases driver "turnover" (ie experienced drivers leaving the profession, only to be replaced by drivers with less experience, or indeed who lack familiarity with UK roads).

I could go on, but I'm you get the point.

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Colin Peyresourde [1724 posts] 2 years ago
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Neil753 wrote:

I could go on, but I'm you get the point.

Quite. I think, to summarise, the problems are much more complex than some of the posters above would have you believe.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1198 posts] 2 years ago
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As I said before, I really don't see how one can have a sensible opinion on this without a lot more information. Personally I just don't think I know enough to know what to think!

Has the number of such vehicles increased over the years, and if so, why? Changing shopping habits? Decline of rail? What? Can any of these factors be reversed, and what would be the cost of doing so? Do we really need all these construction projects in London? How come other cities don't seem to have all this constant rebuilding going on?

Which kind of HGVs pose the bigger threat? (personally I find its the smaller ones that tend to be most badly driven)

Can they not be coralled onto certain roads only, roads that cyclists can in turn then avoid? (there's a junction near me where lorries regularly roll over the pavement at the corner because they are too large to get round it safely - why are they there?).

Why were the likes of Dennis Putz and Jao Lopes employed? Should there not be more penalties for employers who employ known bad drivers?

And so on.

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Colin Peyresourde [1724 posts] 2 years ago
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FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

As I said before, I really don't see how one can have a sensible opinion on this without a lot more information. Personally I just don't think I know enough to know what to think!

Has the number of such vehicles increased over the years, and if so, why? Changing shopping habits? Decline of rail? What? Can any of these factors be reversed, and what would be the cost of doing so? Do we really need all these construction projects in London? How come other cities don't seem to have all this constant rebuilding going on?

Which kind of HGVs pose the bigger threat? (personally I find its the smaller ones that tend to be most badly driven)

Can they not be coralled onto certain roads only, roads that cyclists can in turn then avoid? (there's a junction near me where lorries regularly roll over the pavement at the corner because they are too large to get round it safely - why are they there?).

Why were the likes of Dennis Putz and Jao Lopes employed? Should there not be more penalties for employers who employ known bad drivers?

And so on.

Some good points there.

I think that the purpose use roads for trucks is a good idea. The thing is, as pointed out by the BBC is that roads are actually safer. Cycling numbers are up, so more journeys are being made and deaths are actually not any higher (at the moment). It is the problem with clusters - fooled by randomness, as Nicholas Nasim Taleb says (good book).

As much as people talk about not victim blaming, there has been a lot of finger pointing and that equally isn't right. I'm not saying HGVs don't pose a hazard, but understanding how to ride around them is equally important. Not every HGV driver involved in a fatal cycling accident is responsible for the cyclists death....

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pjay [249 posts] 2 years ago
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A bakery isn't a bakery if it needs baked goods delivered to it, just a premises that reheats horrible partially cooked bread. Maybe they don't need so many deliveries in Paris because there is a decent bakery which makes its own bread on almost every corner?

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

Can they not be coralled onto certain roads only, roads that cyclists can in turn then avoid?

Yes they can, and are already. Individual roads can have weight, height, width, or timing restrictions such as a night time lorry ban. Additionally, an employer will often determine routes after taking into account external factors (such as complaints from residents or schools). Lorry specific satnavs are becoming common, which also play a part, since new restrictions can be updated to the satnav via a data card. So there's lots going on that helps reduce any adverse impact.

Could cyclists avoid these roads? Absolutely, although I firmly believe that cyclists should keep their absolute right to cycle where they like. I would personally suggest checking a map, trying a few alternative routes, timing them, and then making an informed descision about which route is right for them. I agree that it may not always be easy (it's hard to find a reasonably direct alternative to CS2, for instance) but I suspect that many cyclists tend to use a main route because they haven't considered alternatives. And don't forget that lorry restrictions (with some exceptions) mean that most cycling is hgv free in London before 7am.

If it was me, especially if I had moved to a new town, I would plot a few routes, download the gpx files to my "Bikehub" app, and use a different quiet route into work each day, just for variety, until I found a route I really liked, that was relatively free of HGVs.

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GoingRoundInCycles [133 posts] 2 years ago
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I think that the cycling lobby needs to be very careful with this issue. If we successfully make the case that HGVs and bicycles cannot co-exist safely at peak times then there is only one credible option: ban bicycles from the roads at peak times.

Cyclists have other options. We can switch to walking, public transport, motorcycles, scooters or even the wretched car if we have to. What are Tescos going to do? Replace one artic with how many vans, creating more pollution and congestion.

Our society has evolved to be completely dependent on motorised transportation. From my viewpoint as I type, I cannot think of a single object in this house that would be here without some form of motorised transportation being involved, nothing in the fridge, not even my bicycle.

Without a total revolution in the way that we live (and that sort of transformation takes years of planning and implementation) like it or not, the HGV is much more essential to the way our life than the bicycle.

Unless we want to end up with the same status as rollerskaters and skateboarders when it comes to rights to use the road, we should accept reality and concentrate on practical measures such as better education, segregated lanes / routes instead of dreaming of a pie-in-the-sky motorless utopia, 'cause it ain't going to happen.

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IanW1968 [271 posts] 2 years ago
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I would also like to see the incentives and performance management of commercial drivers regulated.

We know that the aggressive management techniques encourages people to take risks, its tightly regulated in financial services for instance, because money is important right?

So why is it not regulated when the risk is life?

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pjay [249 posts] 2 years ago
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Some interesting thoughts on why Paris is safer than London here:

https://buffalobillbikeblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/one-year-on-a-post-...

I would add to this that the attitude of Parisian drivers towards cyclists is much better than here.

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lakeland bimbler [17 posts] 2 years ago
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You know what...bans tend to be imposed as a last resort when people are blatantly taking the p*ss!

If you don't want the cost and inconvenience of a peak hours ban then you'd better start taking some pretty drastic action to make your members safer.

Here are a few suggestions:

Ban pay per load and all other payment or incentive schemes that may encourage risk taking.

Introduce an industry 'driver kitemark' for HGV drivers which' can be removed for drivers who's standard of driving is shown to be below par (removing reliance on an already overstretched criminal justice system). This could also be backed with a industry complaints ombudsman system which could help flag up problem drivers or companies.

Where technology is found to be effective insist your members fit it to all new purchased vehicles and retrofit or phase out older vehicles within a reasonable period of time.

etc etc etc...I could go on. You are a trade association - you don't need to wait for legislation you can do this stuff NOW!

And I bet if you got it right it would more than pay for itself with reduced insurance premiums - not to mention competitive advantage when tendering for new business....

Stop the race to the bottom and take some s*dding responsibility!

(Apologies but this article got me quite cross  102
... so the soapbox got pulled out and dusted off!  3

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Colin Peyresourde [1724 posts] 2 years ago
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Don't bakeries need flour and other ingredients delivered?

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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GoingRoundInCycles wrote:

I think that the cycling lobby needs to be very careful with this issue. If we successfully make the case that HGVs and bicycles cannot co-exist safely at peak times then there is only one credible option: ban bicycles from the roads at peak times.

Cyclists have other options. We can switch to walking, public transport, motorcycles, scooters or even the wretched car if we have to. What are Tescos going to do? Replace one artic with how many vans, creating more pollution and congestion.

Our society has evolved to be completely dependent on motorised transportation. From my viewpoint as I type, I cannot think of a single object in this house that would be here without some form of motorised transportation being involved, nothing in the fridge, not even my bicycle.

Without a total revolution in the way that we live (and that sort of transformation takes years of planning and implementation) like it or not, the HGV is much more essential to the way our life than the bicycle.

Unless we want to end up with the same status as rollerskaters and skateboarders when it comes to rights to use the road, we should accept reality and concentrate on practical measures such as better education, segregated lanes / routes instead of dreaming of a pie-in-the-sky motorless utopia, 'cause it ain't going to happen.

I didn't want to mention it but I agree with you; once the impossibility of a peak hour lorry ban becomes obvious, then it's possible that a peak hours bike ban (for certain routes) will be considered. As you say, it's not as if cyclists have to cycle on the busiest roads, and that will be the main thrust of the argument. I don't want cyclists to be banned, because it could be the thin end of the wedge, but the more vociferous the "clamour" for an hgv ban becomes, the more likely a "politically expedient" solution may be found.

No government is going to risk any hint of a supply problem in the capital. Human nature being what it is, you'll have panic buying and, as we all know, there are thousands of Londoners just waiting for an opportunity to start looting again, now they know that the police only have limited resources to cope with an organised campaign. The top brass know they must ultimately keep the trucks rolling at any cost.

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pjay [249 posts] 2 years ago
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Colin Peyresourde wrote:

Don't bakeries need flour and other ingredients delivered?

Yes, but not every day in an HGV.

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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Neil753 wrote:

As an hgv driver, I sometimes think the Freight Transport Association are their own worst enemy, but in this case they are right.

.

"As an hgv driver" & "but in this case they are right"

First comment explains a lot and they are not right.

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thebungle [103 posts] 2 years ago
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In this case I believe Neil is right.

Let's imagine they ban heavies from 7-9 and 4-6, where will they park up? Lorry parks will have to be created on the outside of the exclusion zone which by the time you add the extra travel involved will effectively stretch the exclusion time even further.

What you will be left with is more heavies per hour trying to squeeze into London at the allowed times.

or

If you ban the biggest vehicle there is every chance you will need 2/3/4 smaller vehicles to transport the same amount of goods, is that a preferable situation?

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Colin Peyresourde [1724 posts] 2 years ago
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pjay wrote:
Colin Peyresourde wrote:

Don't bakeries need flour and other ingredients delivered?

Yes, but not every day in an HGV.

Well are you saying sandwiches are the problem then? I'm being a bit obtuse. But where does it start and stop? I would like fresh bakeries too. But are you picking on them? How many bakery trucks were involved in accidents? Should you lobby particular industries for their non-essential use of lorries/HGVs. Seems a bit simplistic. But maybe I'm wrong.

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Colin Peyresourde [1724 posts] 2 years ago
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northstar wrote:
Neil753 wrote:

As an hgv driver, I sometimes think the Freight Transport Association are their own worst enemy, but in this case they are right.

.

"As an hgv driver" & "but in this case they are right"

First comment explains a lot and they are not right.

I'm not. But I agree with him. Is that OK?

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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thebungle wrote:

If you ban the biggest vehicle there is every chance you will need 2/3/4 smaller vehicles to transport the same amount of goods, is that a preferable situation?

A standard artic trailer will carry 26 ISO pallets (they're the really large ones) or 45 roll cages (they're the huge cages you sometimes see at night in supermarkets).
A standard transit van will carry two ISO pallets.
A modern 7.5t box van might have a typical payload of 5t, so you might need five or six of these to replace one artic, potentially.

Also note that unloading multiple vans would take a lot longer, particularly if they had to be unloaded by hand, rather than straight out with a forklift. And while one van was being unloaded, the progress of the other vans "on route" might have to be very carefully orchestrated.

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pjay [249 posts] 2 years ago
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Colin Peyresourde wrote:
pjay wrote:
Colin Peyresourde wrote:

Don't bakeries need flour and other ingredients delivered?

Yes, but not every day in an HGV.

Well are you saying sandwiches are the problem then? I'm being a bit obtuse. But where does it start and stop? I would like fresh bakeries too. But are you picking on them? How many bakery trucks were involved in accidents? Should you lobby particular industries for their non-essential use of lorries/HGVs. Seems a bit simplistic. But maybe I'm wrong.

I'm just saying that if the restriction of 'baked' goods deliveries (to supermarkets? Gregg's?) is the best argument the FTA can come up with they are not making a very strong argument. We could learn a lot from Paris and, perhaps, in the process improve the quality of life for everyone in London:

https://buffalobillbikeblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/one-year-on-a-post-...

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