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Boris Johnson urged to ban lorries from key London cycle routes at peak times

London risks undoing advances made in cyclist safety during last decade, warns Jenny Jones

A high-profile member of the London Assembly has called on Mayor of London Boris Johnson to ban lorries from key commuting routes into the city during peak times after a second cyclist in the capital was killed in less than 24 hours, and has warned that his policies risk undoing improvements made to cyclist safety over the past decade.

Green politician Jenny Jones, a former Deputy Mayor of London, made her appeal after a female cyclist was killed yesterday after being hit by a tipper lorry at 8.30am between Lauriston Road and Victoria Park Road in South Hackney. That fatality happened less than 24 hours after the death of a cyclist in an incident involving a similar vehicle in Southwark on Tuesday, the same day that Mr Johnson unveiled his Cycle Safety Action Plan.

Ms Jones, who has sat in the London Assembly since its inauguration in 2000 and who under Ken Livingstone undertook roles as the Mayor’s Road Safety ambassador and the Mayor’s Green Travel Ambassador, has urged Boris Johnson to act now to improve cyclists’ safety ahead of the introduction of the first Cycle Superhighways later this year.

Reflecting the views of many cyclists in the capital and beyond who had used the internet to react to this week’s deaths, Ms Jones said: “Many of us are feeling a mix of sadness and anger at these latest deaths of cyclists in London.”

She continued: “This summer, the London Mayor will be encouraging thousands of inexperienced cyclists to use the cycle superhighways and share the roads with some of the main lorry routes through London.”

That, claims Ms Jones, will create an added danger for cyclists, and she says “the most obvious thing the mayor could do is to simply ban lorries from using these cycling commuter routes at peak times of the day. The least he can do is to re-engineer these routes to give cyclists priority."

Ms Jones, whose working relationship with Mr Johnson has been much frostier than the one she enjoyed with his predecessor, Mr Livingstone, claims that “the mayor's action plan on cycling safety is inadequate because it has no timetable for implementation,” a concern also raised by the London Cycling Campaign earlier this week.

A vociferous opponent of Mr Johnson’s decisions to close the Commercial Vehicle Education Unit last year and reduce road safety funding by £10 million, Ms Jones continued: “London's success in halving the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads in the last decade has been based on high levels of investment and tough decisions.

“All this is now under threat, unless the mayor restores the budget. The cut in the number of traffic police, safety cameras and road safety schemes, is a dreadful decision which may cost lives," she concluded.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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OldRidgeback | 14 years ago

A tragic and avoidable accident. There is technology to prevent or at lest minimise the risk of these sort of accidents. It needs to be used. I'm not trying to advertise this firm's product, just pointing out that there is stuff around to improve conspicuity and that perhaps all HGVs allowed on UK roads should have to have equipment like this or rival products fitted. That should include foreign trucks, which have a particularly poor record on safety.

This came from the SMMT:

Cut blind spots and damage.
Steve Ransom at Reversing Made Easy says that despite new laws on truck mirrors, there are still too many driver blind spots. "These mean vehicle and building damage, injuries and sadly, deaths." His firm supplies simple nearside front and rear sensor systems that cover dangerous blind spots. "The system alerts the driver to an unseen object, allowing them to stop and avoid any danger or costly impact. Search StepProtect or Trailermatic on Youtube and see for yourself. Better still, you can try any system free of charge."
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LondonCalling | 14 years ago

Cycle lanes, cycle superhighways, advance boxes, all great, but they HAVE TO BE ENFORCED! There is no point if the lanes are going to be used as parking space by motorized vehicles and the advance box at junctions occupied by cars. Boris can paint the entire city in green/blue, but enforcement is what we need. Otherwise, it's a waste of money.

We also need traffic police and those speed cameras to put to a proper use. Also, a life driving ban of those convicted of causing death by dangeours driving, especially lorry drivers.

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