Waste Industry Praises New Safer Lorry Scheme
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Waste Industry Praises New Safer Lorry Scheme

posted in News by Skippy on 12:25 Oct 23rd, 2015

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Companies from across the waste and recycling industry have welcomed new safety rules which are designed to reduce the risk of heavy good vehicles for cyclists in the capital, where many have lost their lives over the last few years.

More Safety Features Coming To Protect Cyclists

The issue has always been around, but increasing traffic levels have led to more tragic deaths on London’s roads. Under the Safer Lorry Scheme, all vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes are banned if they are not fitted with sideguards to protect cyclists.

The measure was first proposed by Mayor of London Boris Johnson back at the start of 2014, after he came under pressure to do something about the deaths and frequent injuries. The sideguards are designed to prevent a cyclist from being dragged under the lorry’s wheels if it has a collision.

Despite much attention the amount of fatalities has continued to increase, making it a top priority for the mayor. However some argue that this is just the first step which should be taken, with one London based waste disposal company welcoming the ban but also saying that a ban alone would not be enough to stop the accidents.

The Environmental Services Association (ESA) agrees that the new sideguards should be one part of a wider solution. An ESA spokeswoman said: “These changes have been communicated well in advance, and the industry has had sufficient time to prepare and take steps to equip fleets accordingly. The new requirements are a positive step, but should of course form part of a broader set of actions to improve cycle safety.”

Since the first stage of the safety plan began at the beginning of April, the Mayor’s office has confirmed that sidegaurds were just the start, with ‘direct-vision’ cab-door windows also to be introduced along with a range of other measures. It also said they were looking at ways to reduce the amount of left turns which HGV’s can make while driving through the capital.

The Mayor said: “We are ahead of any other part of the UK in closing the legal loopholes that allowed many HGVs to operate without basic safety equipment, and I am delighted that over the 18 months since we announced the Safer Lorry Scheme the vast majority of operators have got the message and fitted safety equipment to their vehicles in anticipation of the ban."

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