Sunday, 4 September 2011

Killer Lorries

Well its bad news on the commuting front in this country I'm afraid. It seems that the government in its infamous wisdom has decided to allow larger lorries to be driven on our roads. For the last 20 years lorry lengths have been steady around the 16 metre mark but gradually getting heavier from 38t to 44t. The new proposed length is 18.75 metres. This can only be bad news for the humble cyclist.

Statistically lorries only make up only five percent of vehicle mileage in the UK but account for 19 per cent of deaths. In London they are responsible for half the deaths of cyclists, and 12 per cent.

Lengthening them will create more blindspots and so more danger. The idea behind this change makes sense in term of cost efficiencies and so is naturally being backed by the Freight Transport Association. This idea is about to be trialled using the new rules. But by far the most alarming aspect of all this is that due to vehicle regulations, the road traffic act of 1988, changes to vehicle limits may be made by the secretary of state without passing through the parliament process. A slight loss on the element of democracy I think.

The CTC are trying to stand up for our rights so if you don't want to be made into a lorry sandwich then please contact Mike Pending, transport safety minister in writing urging the prevention of these new rules. This can be done by means of a prepared letter at www.ctc.org.uk/nolongerlorries.

Also worth looking at is this site http://tinyurl.com/3pfugdt which came about after the death of Eilidh Jake Cairns on February 9th 2009.  The family launched the campaign 'See Me Save Me' and have gained substantial support from EU politicians.  In the UK a bill into parliment is also in place proposing the "fitting of equipment to HGVs to eliminate blindspots."


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