After recently agreeing to abandon the controversial 'Cyclists Stay Back' stickers that have popped up on trucks, buses and even small vans, Transport for London has today unveiled their replacement, a warning notice about HGV blind spots.
The new stickers simply say "Blind spot Take care" and feature a silhouette of the back of a lorry and a warning exclamation mark. There is no reference specifically to cyclists.
The new sticker came about as a result of discussions between Transport for London and cycling campaigners, said TfL's director of surface strategy and planning Ben Plowden.
Plowden said: "In partnership with the cycling community we have reviewed safety signage on all vehicles and recently designed and launched new awareness stickers for HGVs that advise of the potential blind spot on the nearside of larger vehicles, replacing the previous ‘stay back’ messaging.”
The new stickers are intended only for use on vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, which account for a disproportionate number of cyclist deaths and serious injuries in London.
TfL says that it has asked operators of vehicles 3.5 tonnes and under to remove the current stickers.
One of the biggest problems with the old stickers, according to cycling groups, was that their use on buses led some drivers to think they had legal priority over cyclists.
TfL has said that the 'stay back' stickers will be removed and road.cc understands that the organisation is currently working with cycling and road danger redction groups to finalise the design of new stickers for buses.
At road.cc we are somewhat disappointed in the new stickers. Not because they aren't an improvement on the old ones - they clearly are - but because we think our candidate for a replacement for the old stickers is still far better:
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.