The war between cyclists and other road users is one that consistently rears its head. With over congested roads and hot headed motorists, it’s easy to understand the conflict between the two. In an attempt to ease the tension, many councils have started to introduce a number of measures that protect cyclists, and also other road users.
Safety, as always in such cases, remains a priority with councils turning their attention to the threat unsafe lorries pose to cyclists. London has become the first city to introduce a ban on what they define as “unsafe” heavy goods vehicles. Following a number of tragic cyclist deaths caused by road collisions in the capital, new rules now require all HGVs to be fitted with safeguards along their sides to stop cyclists being dragged under the vehicle.
The new rules apply to all London roads apart from motorways. HGVs travelling along these routes without the required safeguards may receive a fine of up to £1,000, with repeat breaches resulting in the termination of their operating license.
The regulations, which came into force earlier this year, have received a mixed reception from various public bodies. Whilst Mayor Boris Johnson supports the scheme, describing it as a potential ‘life-saver’, head of the Freight Transport Association Natalie Chapman argues that there are better methods to improving safer roads for all users.
Manchester, for example, has invested significant funds in transforming the city’s main transport route along Oxford Road. Following the lead of Holland – arguably one of the most cyclist friendly nations in Europe – Manchester authorities have introduced a bus priority plan in an attempt to create a safer environment for all users.
Although the number of cyclist deaths has declined slightly in recent years, the UK still has a long way to go to catch up with our European counter parts. Last year alone 3,401 cyclists were seriously injured on Britain’s roads. Only time will tell if or how the efforts of Manchester and London will affect this.
Suffering a serious injury can have a lifelong psychological and physical impact. Here at Farleys our dedicated serious injuries team specialise in working with victims of road traffic accidents, ensuring they receive the support needed to move forward with their lives. For further information or to talk to a member of our personal injury department please don’t hesitate to call 0845 050 1958, or complete an online enquiry form today.