ExCel centre showcases cyclist-friendly lorries in safety push

New heavy goods vehicles showcased designs with cycle safety in mind

New heavy goods vehicles showcased designs with cycle safety in mind - Credit: Archant

New heavy goods vehicles were showcased at the ExCel centre on Thursday in a drive for cycle safety.

Mercedez-Benz, DAF Trucks, Scania, Volvo and MAN showcased vehicles designed to reduce fatal blindspots at the Construction Logistics and Cycle Safety (CLOCS) event.

Between 2008 and 2013, 55 per cent of cyclist deaths in London involved heavy goods vehicles.

With London hosting 23pc of national construction output, a level set to rise, Transport for London is increasing focus on cycle safety.

“Every death and injury on our roads is a tragedy,” said London’s transport commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy CBE. “We are reducing these wherever possible, and are proud to be a supporter and funder of CLOCS.”

The new vehicles, to be trialled in coming months, reduce blind spots and improve direct vision.

But Rosie Downes, campaigns manager at London Cycling Campaign says it is not enough.

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“Well over 70pc of serious injury or fatal collisions happen at major road junctions in London each year, often as a result of motor traffic turning left across a cyclist’s path,” she said. “Our streets and junctions need to be redesigned for safe, direct passage for cyclists.”

East Ham’s Green Party candidate, Tamsin Omond, agrees roads fail cyclists by prioritising motor vehicles.

“Any vehicle improvements that reduce risk are to be welcomed,” she said. “But we need to redesign our roads and prioritise spending on cycling infrastructure.

“Fewer people cycle in Newham than in any other London borough, and one reason for this is that Newham’s roads have been built for cars.”