London mayor Sadiq Khan has announced his plans to ban up to 35,000 HGVs from operating in the capital by 2020. Under his proposals, HGVs will be rated from 0 – 5 based on the visibility that the driver has from within the cab, any HGVs scoring below 3 will be banned before 2024.
The plans are a response to the growing controversy around the number of HGVs involved in pedestrian and cyclist deaths in London. While they only represent 4% of miles driven in the city, they account for 23% of pedestrian deaths and 58% of cyclist deaths. The plans have been met both with praise and criticism and some have accused the mayor of ‘demonising lorry drivers’. Important issues have been raised like how the countless shops, restaurants and building sites would cope without 35,000 vehicles able to deliver to them. These vehicles play a vital role in the economic life of London and with such a proposal, businesses would certainly struggle.
Some manufacturers have taken on board the worries that many have around pedestrian and cyclist safety, DAF recently showed off the features of their new vehicles.
Former mayor Boris Johnson had suggested that all lorries be fitted with a side window in the door allowing drivers to better see pedestrians and cyclists, perhaps a more pragmatic approach to the genuine concerns of cyclists and pedestrians?