Green light for Safer Lorry Scheme A London-wide ban on any truck not fitted with safety equipment has been given the go-ahead by London mayor Boris Johnson, Transport for London (TfL) and London Councils in an effort to protect cyclists and pedestrians after the scheme received 90 per cent support during a recent public consultation.

TfL said traffic orders implementing the scheme are currently being published, and the installation of road signs at the London boundary, training of police officers and information campaigns with drivers and hauliers are all underway.

The scheme will commence on September 1, once 600 warning signs have been put in place around the capital.

All roads in Greater London (except motorways) will be covered by the scheme. It will require vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes to be fitted with sideguards to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels in the event of a collision, along with Class V and Class VI mirrors to give drivers a better view around their vehicle.

“Improving the safety of London’s roads is a top priority,” Johnson said. “We know a large number of cyclist deaths and serious injuries involve a relatively small number of trucks that are not fitted with basic safety equipment. Such vehicles are not welcome in the capital, and the Safer Lorry Scheme will see them effectively banned from our streets.

“The lives of thousands of cyclists and pedestrians will be much safer as a result, and I urge all operators of HGVs to get on board and make it  a success.”

But in a response to the announcement, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) said there were better ways to reduce accidents in London.

“In principle, we believe this kind of blunt regulatory tool is not the best way to improve cyclist safety,” said FTA’s head of policy for London, Natalie Chapman. “We still think the money and effort spent on this scheme would have been better spent on increased enforcement against the small proportion of lorries that don’t comply with existing regulations.”

TfL said the scheme will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will be enforced by the police, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVLA) and the joint TfL and DfT-funded Industrial HGV Taskforce (IHTF). The maximum fine for each breach of the ban will be £1000. The operator will also be referred for consideration to the relevant traffic commissioner.