Mayor of London, Boris Johnson recently proposed a ‘Safer Lorry Charge’ aimed at protecting the many cyclists in the nation’s capital.
Any LGV not fitted with the correct cyclist protective equipment could face heavy fines under the new proposal.
The purpose of the charge is to reduce the number of cyclists involved in accidents in the capital. In the last four years, HGVs were involved in over half of deaths to London cyclists despite only making up less than 5% of London traffic.
The charge could rise to as high as £200 per day and anyone who declines to pay may face an even steeper penalty. The charge would not apply to cars, motorcycles, smaller commercial vehicles, or buses.
Mr Johnson, said: “I have long been worried that a large number of cyclist deaths involve a relatively small number of problem lorries which are not fitted with safety equipment. In my cycling vision in March, I said that no lorry should be allowed in London unless it is fitted with equipment to protect cyclists.”
National legal requirements specify that many HGVs must be fitted with low skirts or protective side-guards which prevent the cyclist from being dragged underneath. Many other vehicles such as construction lorries and waste vehicles are not required by law to have such measures, and therefore could suffer as a result of the proposal.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has condemned the proposal, describing it as ‘unprecedented and authoritarian’ and that it will ‘create a mess of confused standards’.