Cyclists and lorry drivers have met at the House of Commons to work out an action plan to find common ground on what measures could reduce accident rates without affecting businesses.
The round table convened by HGVtraining.co.uk, which has just produced some research which suggests that:
* 24 per cent of Britons believe cyclists are the most dangerous road users, followed by motorcycles (18 per cent), cars (12 per cent) and lorries (9 per cent).
* Just over half of all cyclists rate lorry drivers as below average in terms of safety.
* Six in ten lorry drivers rate cyclists as below average in terms of safety
* A third of people support a ban on HGVs in city centres, with 15 per cent supporting a ban on bicycles, cars or vans.
The round table was attended by MP Ruth Cadbury – co-chair of the All Parliamentary Group on Cycling – Nick Lloyd of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Steve Robinson from lorry trainers Robinson Training and Duncan Dollimore from Cycling UK. It was chaired by James Clifford, managing director of HGVtraining.co.uk.
There was agreement on the need to crackdown on loopholes which mean that HGV drivers can get away without learning about vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, when they carry out their mandatory on-going development.
There were also calls for a compulsory cycle safety module to be added to this professional driver training.
The panel also called for more data and analysis to be gathered about accidents on our roads. This will allow us to understand which safety measures are actually working, allowing better use of public funds. Of particular interest is how junctions can be made safer for cyclists.
It wants to explore what could be done to incentivise more haulage firms to use the new cycle-friendly lorries – which are equipped with lower slung driver positions, glass doors to reduce blind spots, and multiple observation cameras.
James Clifford said: “It’s time that road users stop carping at each other and instead came together to find ways to make the streets safer for everyone. I know what it’s like to ride around the city on two wheels, just as I see how vital lorry deliveries are to keeping our economy going and people in jobs.”