London’s Safer Lorry Scheme ‘flawed’, says FTA31 July 2014
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has voiced its criticism of London's proposed Safer Lorry Scheme, calling it a "blanket approach" that will not deliver the best route to improved cyclist safety.
The proposed ban will require vehicles over 3.5 tonnes to be fitted with sideguards and mirrors to protect cyclists and pedestrians. The ban would operate across the capital 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
FTA is calling for a more targeted approach, saying the best use of Transport for London (TfL) funds would be stronger enforcement against poor quality operators.
The scheme – currently in consultation – has incorporated some changes, welcomed by the FTA, such as exemptions for smaller vehicles which, if equipped with mirrors, would contravene existing regulations and endanger pedestrians, due to the equipment height.
But, says the association, further concessions are needed to ensure the scheme is in line with UK and EU new build lorry requirements. The proposals could, it adds, disrupt traffic such as container movements, which is not a major threat to cyclist or pedestrian safety.
"Safety on the roads is a complex issue and politicians often reach for the simplistic solution," warns Christopher Snelling, FTA's head of urban logistics policy.
"There is no one magic solution to safety on our roads. Unless everyone involved takes intelligent action, the problem will not improve as much as we all want."
Freight Transport Association Ltd
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