Pall-Ex managing director Kevin Buchanan has called for more regulation of cyclists, which could include licences and road tests. Since the start of the year, eight cyclists have died in collisions in London, all of which have involved lorries.
“Recently, various pro-cycling campaigners have rallied on the government to introduce new 24 hour safety guidelines,” said Buchanan. “These are great ideas in theory, especially sideguards on vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, designed to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels in the event of a collision, and additional mirrors.
“They of course come at a financial cost to haulage firms… but the alternative of just banning lorries in London is completely nonsensical,” he said, pointing out that shops, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants and many other businesses would struggle to stay open.
Buchanan argued that responsibility lay on both sides. “We’ve all seen the odd cyclist who defies danger, weaving in and out of lanes, and not taking adequate care and attention in congested traffic. I should stress that of course they are the minority of a population of cyclists who share our roads, and this small proportion does not by any means reflect the whole.
“The vast majority of cyclists are unregulated. Cycle laws need to be more robust – whether that’s an insistence on protective headgear or an outright ban on wearing music headphones.
“But maybe we could go even so far as introducing cycling licenses and road tests for everyone who is using the road – regardless of whether or not they rely on an engine? One group is not more entitled than another to use our networks, so the onus must be on both parties to be as safe and knowledgeable about the dangers of using roads, particularly in busy urban centres,” he said.