After new rules came into effect demanding that all heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) operating in London be fitted with certain safety equipment, campaigners elsewhere have questioned why the rules should not apply nationwide.
All HGVS operating within the capital must now be fitted with side guards to prevent cyclists being dragged underneath, as well as mirrors that give the driver an improved view of the area around their vehicle. However, vehicles which do not meet these standards are still free to operate elsewhere in the country.
Nick Hubble, of Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign, told the Manchester Evening News that he would like to see the law applied nationwide.
“If these bigger construction trucks are deemed dangerous in London they should be deemed dangerous everywhere. When construction trucks are manoeuvred on a site they have to have a ‘banksman’ who looks out for people in the area and will warn if it’s getting too close.
“If they aren’t deemed to be safe on a construction site why are they allowed on the road without extra supervision? The law should apply universally and not just in London.”
However, a Transport for Greater Manchester spokesman said there are no immediate plans to follow London’s lead.
Meanwhile, the sister of a cyclist killed by a lorry while cycling to work in the capital in 2009 has welcomed the new rules but emphasised that there was still much to be done.
Eilidh Cairns, who worked as a TV producer, was aged 30 when she was killed after being struck from behind by a lorry driven by Joao Lopes. The only charge he ever faced in connection with her death was driving with uncorrected defective vision, for which he received three points on his licence and a fine of £200. Lopes was later jailed for killing an elderly pedestrian.
Eilidh’s sister, Kate, set-up the See Me Save Me campaign with her mother in the wake of her sister’s death. On top of the new measures, she wants to see mandatory specifications in lorry cab designs that would increase visibility and reduce blind spots. She told the Chronicle Live: “We do feel like we have to keep going. We are still going to be calling for compulsory driver training and a specialist investigatory body. There’s still a long way to go.”