Changes to European legislation that will permit aerodynamic lorries that are safer for vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians will come into effect in 2019, and not 2025 as road safety campaigners had feared.
France, where truck manufacturer Renault is based, and Sweden, home to Volvo and Scania, were among member states that sought to delay implementing the revised regulations, overwhelmingly approved by the European Parliament earlier this year, for 10 years.
But yesterday, a “trialogue” session involving members of the European Commission, European Council and the European Parliament, resulted in the implementation of the revised regulations to take place in 2019, two years later than the earliest date they could have come into effect, reports Euractiv.
Lorries complying with the new design regulations, which will permit larger windows and have rounded cabs that will help prevent people being dragged under the vehicle in the event of a collision, can now operate on Europe’s roads six years earlier than could otherwise have been the case.
On Monday, Mayor of London Boris Johnson and British Cycling policy adviser Chris Boardman were joined by Kate Cairns, founder of the See Me Save Me campaign group, in urging transport minister Robert Goodwill and the UK government to fight for the changes to be implemented without delay.
South East England Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder, who also wrote to Mr Goodwill, said: "These changes will mean the introduction of safer, greener lorries on our roads by 2019.
"I would have liked to see these changes implemented sooner, but we've successfully fought against the EU governments and industry who wanted an unacceptable 10 year delay.
"It's now over to manufacturers to ensure safer lorry designs for cyclists and pedestrians," she added.
The agreement reached yesterday now has to be approved by the European Council and Commission.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.