Home Menu Search

Improved cycle safety in London.

6 September 2013

Transport Minister Stephen Hammond, London Mayor Boris Johnson, and London’s Transport Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy CBE, have announced a series of measures to improve cycle safety in London.

The Department for Transport (DfT) and TfL will strengthen the enforcement of HGV standards by dedicating more Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and Metropolitan Police officers to this activity in the capital. They will establish a dedicated London-based industrial HGV task force to raise awareness of safety requirements for vehicles and drivers and to take enforcement action against the minority of dangerous operators, vehicles and drivers. This will complement existing work by the Metropolitan Police with TfL funding to improve road safety and cycle safety in London, including the enforcement of advanced stop lines and to fine cyclists who jump red lights, promoting safer behaviour by all road users.

DfT and TfL will aim to:

  • establish a  new industrial HGV task force to take direct action against dangerous HGV drivers, vehicles and operators
  • DfT to review exemptions to current HGV regulations
  • call for European Union to speed up its review on the design of HGVs to increase drivers’ visibility of vulnerable road users
  • DfT and the Driving Standards Agency issuing a call for evidence about how driver training could change

Under national legislation, most HGVs, such as supermarket delivery lorries, are required to be fitted with safety equipment such as sidebars or low skirts which protect cyclists and other vulnerable road users from being dragged underneath the vehicle in the event of a collision.

However, a small number of vehicle types – particularly those operating in the construction sector - are exempt from fitting certain safety equipment. The rising number of such vehicles in London’s building boom present a risk to the growing number of cyclists, who now make up almost a quarter of all rush hour traffic in the centre.

Responding to the proposals, the Freight Transport Association’s director of policy Karen Dee said,

“FTA views the Mayor’s decision as unprecedented and authoritarian and considers it to be one that will create a mess of confused standards, leaving HGV operators not knowing what they are trying to achieve.
Improving road safety is a priority for FTA members and many lorry operators already work to the highest standards.  A huge amount of investment has been made by responsible operators who have gone over and above the minimum legal requirements to ensure that safety equipment is fitted to their vehicles. There are better ways of achieving safe roads for all road users.

 “We need to see cyclists taking responsibility for their actions, obeying traffic regulations, giving space to HGVs making manoeuvres and generally riding responsibly. Unless you also improve the behaviour of cyclists, the problem will not improve in the way that everyone wants.”

Related news, events and information

HGVs without safety equipment to be banned from London

18 February 2015 – Story from FORS The Mayor, Boris Johnson, Transport for London (TfL) and London Councils have given the...

Making London's lorries safer

27 February 2023 – London's Mayor has adopted Vision Zero for road danger in London with the aim of eliminating all deaths and...

Use of technology will make roads safer

27 September 2017 – Story from Newspress. The proposals, to be introduced for all HGV operators across the capital from 2020,...

Casualties fall but VRUs remain a high risk.

17 May 2011 – In the same week as ETSC reveals that the number of total road deaths decreased considerably over the last...

TfL’s pioneering Direct Vision Standard comes into force

10 March 2021 – In a world first, TfL's lorry safety scheme is now enforced on all roads in London with free safety permits...

Direct Vision Standard shows trucks in London are safer

14 June 2021 – Three months of TfL's world-first Direct Vision Standard shows lorries in London are safer. TfL, working with...

London intensifies efforts to achieve Vision Zero

22 November 2021 – Bold new commitments include a 20mph speed limit on 220km of the TfL road network by 2024 and enhanced support...

Consultation on final proposals for TfL’s world-first Direct Vision Standard opens today

14 January 2019 – Story from Transport for London. TfL has launched the final public consultation on its world-first Direct...

HGVs face new safety rules in London from 2024

16 June 2023 – As reported by Commercial Fleet TfL has announced that as part of London's road to Vision Zero HGVs over 12...