Cyclists and lorries don’t mix: this week’s evidence

Not much text needed to accompany these photographs taken yesterday on the streets of Southwark and posted on the SE1 Forum.

Exhibit A:
Lorry and cyclist collide on Borough High Street, junction of Dover Street. Keltbray services the Shard construction site and one of its lorries killed a London cyclist back in March, just a few yards from this spot. Note the lovely ‘guard rails’ that trapped the cyclist on her left. Photo credit: Phoney.



Exhibit B: The blue paint is not yet dry on Mayor’s new cycle superhighway CS7 and it’s being used as a chill out zone for articulated lorries on Southwark Bridge Road. Photo credit: ssimps01.



Thanks to those who took these pictures and best wishes to the young woman who was hit on Borough High Street – though bones were broken looks to me like it could have been so much worse.

If London is going to be a cycling city we’ll need to do much more about the lorry problem. For what it’s worth, here is my 5 point plan:

1. Lorry bans. A ban of all lorry traffic in the peak rush hour periods (made up for by a relaxation of the night time ban). Key arterial routes used by cyclists to be permanently closed to lorries. TfL to undertaken an exercise to ‘lorry proof’ the London Cycle Network.

2. Higher safety standards.
All public sector bodies to require their haulage contractors and subcontractors to meet a higher level of driver training and safety standards than is required by the law. All private sector property developers must require their contractors to do the same – these requirements to built into government contracts and development consents.

3. Better training, better pay for drivers.
The government and the haulage industry to work together to make lorry driving a high skill, high pay profession. In the future, lorry drivers should be more like airline pilots. The level of training should reflect the level of danger their vehicles pose to the general public and their pay should reflect this. Piece-rate driver contracts to be banned (drivers should be paid a salary or daily rate, not payment per load).

4. Ban the cowboys. New powers for the Mayor to suspend lorries of a particular company if it appears that its fleet is posing a risk to Londoners.

5. Cycle training. More money and more incentives for cyclists to undertake one-to-one cycle training. Perhaps going on a cycle training course should increase the size of the tax-break available under the Cycle-to-Work scheme. Maybe cycle training could be offered free with every purchase of a new bike.

I’ve no doubt this could be expanded into a ten or twenty point plan, so please add your ideas in the comments.