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Calls for rush-hour ban on lorries in London after death of cyclist on Monday

London Cycling Campaign and British Cycling react to news of latest fatality

British Cycling and the London Cycling Campaign have both called for a rethink on when lorries are allowed on London’s streets following the death of a cyclist yesterday. According to the London Evening Standard, Mayor Boris Johnson has said that he wants to ban lorries from the capital unless equipped with safety features including additional mirrors and skirts that prevent cyclists from being dragged underneath.

The victim, aged in her 20s, was killed at 8.20am as she turned left onto Victoria Street from Palace Street by a tipper truck which was also turning left after the traffic lights had changed, with the Standard publishing pictures of her crushed bike. The driver was questioned at the scene but not arrested, the newspaper added.

Mike Cavenett of LCC, quoted on BBC News London, said: "These lorries are banned from the roads overnight so first thing in the morning they go out on to the streets to make deliveries at the same time as cyclists. It is a serious problem."

LCC says that while lorries account for 5 per cent of London’s traffic, they are involved in half of cyclist fatalities in the city, with construction vehicles presenting a particular hazard, being involved in a disproportionate number of incidents.

Last month, LCC unveiled the design of a ‘Safer Urban Lorry’ including features such as CCTV cameras and side guards, which it says can help prevent cyclists and pedestrians from suffering death or serious injury in the event of a collision.

Martin Gibbs, policy and legal affairs director at British Cycling, issued a statement via the organisation’s Twitter feed in which he said: “This is sad illustration of why cities need to remove trucks from commuting traffic.

“Most cycling deaths in London caused by HGVs so it's welcome that Mayor will consider best way to remove danger."

Speaking at the Get Britain Cycling parliamentary inquiry in February, Gibbs had highlighted that in 2011 there had not been a single death of a cyclist in Paris.

While the area concerned is much smaller than that of Greater London, it’s still an arresting statistic, and one that owes much to tighter restrictions on the movement of lorries in the French capital, as well infrastructure including infrastructure such as kerbed or segregated cycle lanes in some places.

The danger hasn’t been eradicated altogether – in the same week that he highlighted that statistic, a femalecyclist was killed by a lorry near Bastille while last October a lorry also claimed the life of an Equipe journalist who specialised in cycling.

Meanwhile, LCC has also repeated its call for Londoners to write to their local councils to urge them to back its Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling pledge.

Reflecting on yesterday’s fatality, LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha said: “It's terrible to hear about yet another cyclist-lorry fatality, and our thoughts are with the victim's family and friends.

"While we don't know enough about this incident to comment on specifics, the large number of cyclist-lorry fatalities clearly shows that reducing the danger from lorries must be a major priority for the city.

"Separating bikes and lorries by building continental-style infrastructure, as called for by our Love London, Go Dutch campaign, is essential on busy roads like this, while action should also be taken to make lorries safer.

"Every lorry on London’s streets should be driven by someone who’s had cyclist-awareness training, on a bike as well as in a classroom, and all lorries should have the latest safety equipment such as mirrors, cameras and sensors."

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.

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