There are better ways of achieving safe roads for all road users Wed Sep 04 11:38:00 BST 2013
The Freight Transport Association has voiced its disappointment at today's announcement (Wednesday 4 September) by the Mayor of London's office, asking whether it is the 'thin end of the wedge'?
Responding to Boris Johnson's intention to call for a 'Safer Lorry Charge' across London, FTA said that it was surprised as it had thought it was working closely with TfL and the Mayor's Office on the subject of improved road safety and added that it believed there were better ways of achieving safe roads for all road users.
In joint announcements (but separate press statements), the Transport Minister Stephen Hammond, London Mayor Boris Johnson, and London's Transport Commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy CBE, announced a series of measures to improve cycle safety in London.
In reply, FTA stated that HGV operators are already doing a lot to improve safety by installing additional equipment, training drivers and making changes to the way they operate. The majority of HGV operators are already working to the highest safety standards. The association added that there has also been huge investment by the freight industry to ensure that vehicles are fitted with basic safety equipment, with many going above and beyond the legal requirements.
FTA Director of Policy, Karen Dee said:
"FTA views the Mayor's decision as unprecedented and authoritarian and considers it to be one that will create a mess of confused standards, leaving HGV operators not knowing what they are trying to achieve.
"Improving road safety is a priority for FTA members and many lorry operators already work to the highest standards. A huge amount of investment has been made by responsible operators who have gone over and above the minimum legal requirements to ensure that safety equipment is fitted to their vehicles. There are better ways of achieving safe roads for all road users."
FTA is also calling for all road users to take responsibility for their actions, stating that if London is to be declared a safe cycling zone, then tougher standards for cyclists' behaviour should be introduced, and that they now have an increasing part to play in improving road safety.
Ms Dee added:
"We need to see cyclists taking responsibility for their actions, obeying traffic regulations, giving space to HGVs making manoeuvres and generally riding responsibly. Unless you also improve the behaviour of cyclists, the problem will not improve in the way that everyone wants."
FTA now calls on government and cycling groups to work together in order to ensure that current and future cyclists obey the rules and share the road co-operatively and responsibly.
Notes for editors
To request an interview with FTA or for further comment, please contact the FTA press office on 01892 552255 / 07818 450425 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Freight Transport Association represents the transport interests of companies moving goods by road, rail, sea and air. FTA members operate over 220,000 goods vehicles – half the UK fleet. They consign over 90 per cent of the freight moved by rail and over 70 per cent of sea and air freight.
FTA Press Office