London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, should bring forward a ban on London’s most dangerous lorries, following the death of the third cyclist in an HGV collision this year, say campaigners.
Earlier this year London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, Val Shawcross, announced the introduction of a star rating for lorries as part of a new Direct Vision Standard in the capital, a world first, which would see around 35,000 of the most dangerous “off-road” HGVs banned from London’s streets by 2020.
Ahead of a City Hall vigil tonight, to mark the death of Filippo Corsini, who was killed in a lorry collision last Monday, London Green Assembly Member, Caroline Russell, and campaign organisation Stop Killing Cyclists called for the ban to be brought forward to the end of next year to prevent further casualties.
Caroline Russell said: “These tragic, preventable road deaths are devastating families across London and the world.
“I urge the Mayor to bring forward his star rating for HGVs before the proposed date of 2020. We cannot wait four more years before these killer lorries are taken off our roads.
“We already know what a dangerous lorry looks like, why not bring forward the removal of the 35,000 zero star-rated ‘off-road’ HGVs operating in London?
Russell also called on the Mayor to clarify what a “good” three of the five star rating (zero being the most dangerous) would mean, calling the criteria for this “unclear”.
Transport for London’s (TfL) Direct Vision Standard is a world first, developed in response to the fact that despite making up only 4% of London traffic, lorries are disproportionally involved in London cyclists’ deaths.
The Standard, and the star rating scheme, will give five stars to “direct vision” lorries with the smallest blind spots, and TfL and councils will exercise procurement powers to favour companies using the safest, highest star rated vehicles. While the move was welcomed by campaigners, concerns remain that dangerous lorries will remain at large for another three years.
Stop Killing Cyclists, who are organising tonight’s vigil, point out 13 people have been killed in HGV collisions while walking or crossing the road in London this year, in addition to the three cyclists killed in lorry collisions.
It is calling on the Mayor to ban all lorries rated between zero and two stars by December 2017. Vigil co-organiser, Nicola Branch, said: “We must expedite the proposed HGV star ratings scheme”.
The London Cycling Campaign’s (LCC) Infrastructure Campaigner, Simon Munk, told road.cc if a ban for zero starred lorries could be implemented in 2017, or earlier, the LCC would support it.
He said: “We want the industry, TfL and the Mayor to work together to get as many of the most lethal lorries off our streets as quickly as possible.”
“Every day these lorries are on our streets risks another needless death. We are also calling for the second phase of the scheme to be tougher too – we want all lorries to be 5* rated rather than 3* by 2024.”
A spokesperson for the Mayor of London told road.cc many lorries will be upgraded ahead of the 2020 deadline as the Mayor’s office works with councils and developers to speed up adoption.
“Sadiq has been clear that he will be the most pro-cycling Mayor yet. He’s already given his support to progressing with major cycling schemes, including Cycle Superhighway 11 and the new North-South Cycle Superhighway, and announced world-first proposals to completely ban the most dangerous HGVs from London’s roads by 2020,” said the spokesperson.
“Our ground-breaking direct vision standard is a much bolder proposal than anything previously planned, and we are working closely with developers and councils to encourage faster adoption. By setting out our plans now, we expect many lorries will be upgraded well before the ban is introduced to remove the remaining minority.
“We will also soon be publishing a business plan that will set out the Mayor’s commitment to increase spending on cycling and will appoint a Walking and Cycling Commissioner to play an integral role in ensuring cycling is made easier and safer for all Londoners.”