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A simple solution for us all

6th February 2014
Page 13
Page 13, 6th February 2014 — A simple solution for us all
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

After looking through cyclists' videos of journeys and near-misses on the roads, all I can say is: I'm shocked. It just shows we don't know how our trucks are driven. Some people might not care, but I think most company bosses would be a little concerned.

For me, it put a different angle across — one I hadn't been willing to see. The impression I was given is that all the accidents with cyclists happened when it was dark or busy —from watching the videos, I can see that isn't the case.

On two cases, however, it was the same junction and the same firm involved. On other occasions, the trucks were trying to build up speed to overtake cyclists, and then ran out of road. My proposal would be to limit overtaking of cyclists to areas where there is a cycle lane. A simple sign at the side of the road would indicate when and where. Lots of cyclists can out-peddle a truck through London. So why are drivers trying to turn trucks into Ferraris? They'll just get stopped at the next set of traffic lights and the

cyclist will go past them again — meaning they've wasted extra fuel.

By the same token, I would expect cyclists not to race trucks and under or overtake them unless in a cycle lane. Cycle lanes should be removed from junctions where trucks make awkward left turns.

London isn't the easiest place to drive in and it is only getting worse, but a compromise is needed — and I don't see that any electronic device is going to help. Fitting warning systems is going to be costly for all transport companies, and the truck is still only as good as the driver. This solution is not perfect, but it would give us a starting point. David Appleyard Director, Britanna Appleyards Rotherham

Ed's note: It appears that with London mayor Boris Johnson's Safer Lorry Scheme and London Council's proposals to specify safety equipment as part of the London Lorry Control Scheme, politicians will be backing technology as the solution to the safe cycling challenge.

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