Thursday, 6 December 2012

The government is gambling with cyclist's lives

I was reading today the tragic news of another cycling fatality in London, again involving a heavy goods vehicle. He is the fifth cyclist to die in a lorry crash during 2012. This comes only two weeks since Brian Florey was killed in Barking in a collision with a lorry.

The dangers of HGVs to cyclists are well documented, and solutions to pacify the dangers have been suggested and ignored. The government is aware of these risks and, by taking no action, they are gambling with the lives of cyclists. Whatsmore, the Department for Transport are looking to up the ante by increasing the speed limit for HGVs exceeding 7.5 tonnes from 40mph to 50mph on single carriageways. You can read more about the proposals here.
 
It is bewildering how this regressive step could be considered when all the evidence points towards a reduction in speed limits being necessary to increase road safety. I am sure that I am not the only cyclist who bitterly resents having to share the road with the demonstrable dangers posed by HGVs, and it is impossible to reconcile the proposal to increase the speed limit of HGVs with the government's purported policy of encouraging cycling.