Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has proposed plans that could see up to 35,000 heavy goods vehicles currently in use being banned from London’s roads by 2020 in an attempt to make the roads safer for cyclists.
The criteria suggested will focus on a 0-5 rating scale based on the HGV driver’s visibility from the cab. Vehicles will need at least a 3 out of 5 rating to be active in the capital by 2024 if the plans go ahead.
This suggestion comes just a day after professional cyclist Chris Boardman commented that the latest THINK! campaign “Was like it was made by Top Gear” and that “It kind of misses the point.”
THINK! aims to “Encourage safer behaviour to reduce the number of people killed and injured on our roads every year.”
Despite this, the latest video released contains comical references of being caught in between different objects. Think! compared turning and being caught under a lorry or a HGV, which has helped contribute to 58% of cyclist’s deaths in London over the last two years, to being caught between a butcher and a meat cleaver.
Despite the advert largely missing the mark in the eyes of the professionals, Khan is still pushing through with the HGV improvement plans. He’s quoted saying; “I’m not prepared to stand by and let dangerous lorries cause further heartbreak and tragedy on London’s roads.”
The bottom line is that London is arguably the biggest cycling hub in Britain. In the THINK! advert, there was not one mention of any punishment or consequences to the driver, the cyclist or the family of the victim.
While the government seems to be steering in the right direction, without the support of groups like THINK! and the advertising they provide, the roads cannot be safe for cyclists.