2 Way Street

 

Recently the Guardian ran editorial which stated that London was the “epicentre of lorry-related cycling deaths in the UK”.  That in itself is not hugely surprising, the absolute number of cyclists and lorries make this a logical conclusion, but what was more interesting and worrying was that in 2009, 10 out of 13 fatal cycling accidents in the capital were women, and eight of them were killed by HGVs, according to the cycling campaign group CTC.

 

Gail Porter CTC 2 way street

 

So we were interested to hear about a new campaign, launched by Gail Porter on behalf of Russell Jones & Walker, personal injury specialists, with support from CTC , which plans to bring cyclists and lorry drivers together.

 

On average, every year approximately eight cyclists a year are killed by lorries in London and about 28 are killed by lorries across the UK, with 70% of these in urban areas.  A nationwide, independent survey conducted on behalf of Russell Jones & Walker, questioned both HGV drivers and cyclists, with the key findings:

 

  • 73% of HGV drivers worried most about sharing the road with a cyclist more than any other road user
  • 72% of HGV drivers said cyclists should undertake cycle training
  • 98% of cyclists don’t feel safe on the road all of the time
  • 53% of HGV drivers felt there should be more cycle lanes
  • 35% of cyclists felt that lorries posed a considerable threat to them when on the road

 

Paul Kitson, a claimant personal injury specialist with Russell Jones & Walker with particular expertise in cycling injury claims said: “The survey has explored, for the first time ever, the relationship between cyclists and lorry drivers and most importantly we now have proof that both parties want more or less the same things so they can share happily the same roads.”

 

Chris Peck, a campaigner from CTC – the UK’s national cyclists organisation added: “The health benefits of cycling far outweigh its risks by 10:1, so not cycling is actually far more dangerous. But, crashes involving lorry drivers account for a high proportion of cyclists’ deaths.  Per mile travelled in urban areas, HGVs are over 20 times more likely to be involved in the death of a cyclist, than a car or light van.” 

 

To improve the situation, CTC would like to see: cycle awareness training for all HGV drivers and access to national standards cycle training; An improvement in the design of HGVs to eliminate blind spots; the adoption of side guards and side indicator repeaters on all HGVs; the restriction of lorries on narrow streets and urban areas and more investment in cycle friendly road design, including quality cycle lanes in the correct places.”

 

 

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