London

Over 13,000 sign petition to ban rush-hour lorries

Crash at Bank
Image caption Twenty-six-year-old Ying Tao died after colliding with a tipper truck at Bank in June

More than 13,000 people have signed a petition to ban lorries from London's roads during rush hour.

It was launched after a fatal collision between 26-year-old cyclist Ying Tao and a tipper truck at Bank junction in June.

She was the eighth cyclist to be killed in London in 2015, and the seventh to be fatally struck by a lorry.

The Mayor of London said officials would consider the proposal.

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But the Road Haulage Association warned it would be extremely costly.

The petition, organised by the London Cycling Campaign (LCC), calls for a ban on all lorries over 7.5 tonnes between 08:00 and 09:30.

Campaigners also want compulsory "direct vision" lorry cabs and stronger enforcement against "rogue operators" who use unlicensed lorries with untrained drivers.

Image caption Cyclists handed in the petition at City Hall on Wednesday

Assembly backing

The London Assembly recently voted unanimously to urge the mayor to implement the LCC's recommendations.

Assembly Members have been questioning Boris Johnson about his plans to help cyclists during Mayor's Question Time.

Mr Johnson said officials would consider the proposal for a ban, but he was not personally enthusiastic about it.

David Muslin, who helped delivered the petition, was hit by a lorry on Finchley Road in 2013.

He said that he didn't "want anyone else on a bike, or on foot, to go through what I did - let alone what others have".


London cyclists in 2014

13 deaths

419 seriously injured

4,714 minor injuries

Source: TfL


Darren Johnson, Green Party Assembly Member, said: "London during peak times is simply not a suitable environment for huge trucks.

The dangers they pose to cyclists and pedestrians are too great. Londoners should be able to cycle to work, or take the kids to school, without fearing for their lives."

The LCC says direct vision lorry cabs with glass doors and lower seats would allow drivers to see cyclists at the front left of their lorry.

Many refuse-collection vehicles already have them, because of the risk of hitting workers as they handle bins.

'Phenomenal' cost

But a spokesman for the Road Haulage Association said the cost of retrospectively fitting existing cabs would be "phenomenal".

John Howells said cab design was constantly evolving, but that drivers' seats had become higher in recent years to make room for equipment that met lower emissions standards.

Banning lorries from central London during rush hour would force them to wait in dedicated lorry parks and disrupt urgent supermarket deliveries, he added.

"I'm not saying that a cyclist shouldn't try to get by a moving vehicle, but that they should take care when it's turning left."

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