Mayor Boris Johnson has put forward proposals forcing London lorries to have a ‘new side window’ giving better visibility of pedestrians and cyclists.
If the proposals are successful, existing and new lorries would need to fit a window in the lower half of the passenger-side cab door – which could cost around £1,000 to £1,500 per lorry.
“The danger caused by HGVs to other road users is unacceptable and we have to reduce it,” said Johnson. “With the launch last year of my Safer Lorry Scheme, we have already made real progress.”
However, FTA head of national & regional policy Christopher Snelling said: “Improving visibility for HGV drivers is really important, but there are many different ways to achieve this. We are disappointed that the Mayor has chosen to focus on just one option without clear evidence that this is the best way to deliver the desired outcome.
“Side panel have limitations – for example, if the vehicle is carrying a second crew member or equipment then the view may be obscured. In recent years the Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) have made additional mirrors, cameras and sensors a priority for HGVs. Now suddenly this one panel is the answer – and those who have already eliminated this blind spot through technology will be forced to adapt their vehicles again to address the same problem.”
Snelling said the costs would eventually get passed on to the users, and also the businesses and residents of the capital. “These are the ones who will ultimately be paying this bill,” he said.
The consultation on the side windows proposal ends on 4th March.