Sarah Barth January 28 2017
The government is to allow more extra-long lorries onto UK roads, a move campaigners say will be deadly for cyclists.
At 70ft long, the lorries are 15 per cent (7ft) longer than standard HGVs, and are being trialled on our roads.
Cycling groups including LCC, British Cycling and & Cycling UK and road safety groups are opposed to their use, saying that the extra length behind the read axles has a tail swing of double that other HGVs.
These campaigners say cyclists are ill-warned of the additional dangers they should look out for when interacting with these longer lorries.
Philippa Edmunds, from the Campaign for Better Transport, said: “The Government’s decision to allow even more longer lorries onto UK roads is based on incorrect assumptions and flawed research.
“The supposed environmental and safety benefits of longer lorries are partial and not derived from scientific data. The Government does not even know which minor roads the lorries are using and for what distances and should be collecting this data via GPS or telematics before it even considers an extension of the trial.
“By extending this trial by an additional five years we are extremely concerned that the Government is ignoring the very real danger posed by these longer lorries on urban roads, which unlike the strategic road network, are totally unsuitable for these vehicles because the extended rear tail swing is double that of existing HGVs.
“In order to reduce the risks to other road users, especially cyclists and pedestrians, these longer lorries must to be restricted to local authority defined routes immediately.”
According to Campaign for Better Transport, the Government’s claims that longer lorries produce less carbon emission and are safer than standard HGV are unreliable because there is no independent analysis of the safety or fuel efficiency efficiency of longer lorries. The only analysis relies on information submitted by the haulage operators taking part in the trial.