Monday, 25 August 2014

Boris considers safety incentives in bus contracts

Dear Friends,

We have good news for our petition to End London’s Lethal Truck Epidemic:

Boris will consider rewarding safety in bus contracts. With assembly members from his own party raising the issue it is a great opportunity to get progress on one of the petition's demands [1]. We need to keep this in the spot light to make sure this happens. Can you help spread the word by sharing this email with your friends, flatmates and colleagues?

In addition, TfL have plans to tighten up safety requirements for lorries by removing exemptions from safety rules [2]. The consultation is open now, so please show your support.

Finally, there have also been positive statements about HGV enforcement [3], but we want to see the figures.

This is a great start but we need to keep up the pressure: please help by sharing this on Facebook & Twitter.



Many thanks,


Saturday, 23 August 2014

How the Dutch got their cycle paths [video]

6 minutes to find out how the Dutch got their cycle paths. It wasn't always like that, in fact they started going down the same route as the UK before changing course.

The video is taken from - follow the link if you want more information on the video & Dutch cycling.

I'm sharing the video here because I think it's essential watching for cycle campaigners, I hope you find it inspiring.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Enforcement statistics - HGVs

Dear TfL,

In June I received an email regarding HGV safety (copied below).

I would like to request an update on the enforcement action. In particular you gave the following statistics:
"Between 1 October 2013 and 7 June 2014, 2577 vehicles were targeted and stopped, over 600 fixed penalty notices were issued and 35 of the most unsafe vehicles were seized."
Please could you send me updated figures for:

  • vehicles targeted and stopped
  • fixed penalty notices issued
  • unsafe vehicles seized

Kind regards,



TfL's response to my e-mail about the seriously disproportionate dangers presented by HGVs (their e-mail address is

"Thank you for your email of 13 June 2014 about the movement of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) on London’s roads.

Firstly, you are absolutely right to say that HGVs are disproportionately involved in road collisions in London. 53 per cent of all pedal cycle fatalities between 2008 and 2012 involved a HGV despite only making up four per cent of London’s road miles. Both the Mayor and Transport for London are working hard to reduce the risk posed by HGVs to vulnerable road users and part of our £913m programme of investment is dedicated to this specific issue. We believe that no lorry should be allowed in London unless it is fitted with basic safety equipments to protect vulnerable road users. TfL has completed a feasibility study, Safer Lorry Scheme: the Way Forward (available here, which sets out the options to make this happen. TfL is working with London Councils to implement these recommendations and hope the Scheme will be in operation at the end of this year. We are also increasing enforcement activity against the most dangerous and non-compliant vehicles on London’s roads through the joint TfL/ Department for Transport (DfT) Industrial HGV Task Force. This task force comprises eight police and DfT officers who can enforce vehicle standards regulations. Between 1 October 2013 and 7 June 2014, 2577 vehicles were targeted and stopped, over 600 fixed penalty notices were issued and 35 of the most unsafe vehicles were seized. However, the Mayor is determined to go further and has been speaking to the DfT about how we can improve HGV safety across the UK and the EU. We have been lobbying the DfT to remove the exemptions for construction HGVs that are currently not required to fit basic safety equipment, such as side guards and blind spot mirrors. The Mayor and TfL recently lobbied the European Parliament about the European Commission’s proposals to amend the directive that regulates the weights and dimensions of HGVs. The European Parliament has now passed amendments that, if taken forward, will mean lower cabs and bigger windows will apply to all new HGVs. This means a drivers direct vision around his vehicle will be much better, reducing the reliance on cameras and sensors. Although this means we are unlikely to see these requirements mandatory for all new HGVs until 2022 at the earliest we will keep the pressure up to achieve change as soon as possible for the benefit of all road users. In the meantime, TfL has established an industry working group with over 30 businesses and vehicle manufacturers to encourage vehicle designs that improve direct vision for HGV drivers. While it will take time to implement those changes the group is examining what effective safety improvements could be obtained from existing equipment. The group has also started examining the range of additional safety systems such as sensors and cameras that could help.

Since February 2012, TfL has included cycle safety requirements in its procurement contracts. Vehicles must be equipped with technology to eliminate blind spots and drivers receive on-cycle hazard awareness training. These requirements have also been included within TfL’s Construction Logistics Plan Guidance (which can be found here for planners and here for developers These are now included in many planning applications. To encourage other organisations to follow our lead, a guidance document on Improving Road Safety through Procurement is available which recently won the ‘Best London Cycling Initiative’ at the London Cycling Campaign awards. Crossrail, The London Legacy Development Corporation, Thames Water, MACE and a number of London boroughs have already committed to this approach.

Other practical tools to improve lorry safety include:

- a Cycle Safety toolkit for freight operators

- Exchanging Places events to give cyclists the opportunity to sit in the cab of a lorry to see the extent of vehicle blind spots and encourages safer cycling.

Hope this answers your query regarding our position on the issues you raised.

Thank you once again for contacting us.

Yours sincerely, Freight and Fleet Team, Transport for London"

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Follow-up email to Andrew Gilligan

We asked Andrew Gilligan for an update on the petition demands & to comment on recent developments but unfortunately he didn't reply. The email we sent him is below:

Dear Andrew,

Save our Cyclists Petition - Update

Last winter 36'000 people signed the 'Save our cyclists' petition, and it was handed to you on the 10th of December. On the 12th of February Rhiannon shared your response with the signatories. This email is to give you an update on the petition and our next steps. We are planning to email our supporters about progress in late August and would like to give you the opportunity to comment before we send it.

We believe there is a lot more we can achieve with the petition to improve cycling in London.
  • In March we ran a poll which found over half of the respondents wanted us to focus on segregated lanes. In second approximately a fifth prioritised action on HGVs. 
  • In both your response to us and in your speech at the Big Ride you highlighted the need for support to win the debates on a borough level. 
We will be pressing for delivery of segregated & high quality lanes across London, identifying those boroughs which appear to be obstructing cycling infrastructure & the schemes which fall short of the standard identified in the Vision for Cycling.

Below this email I've identified the main developments since February to share with the petition. If you have anything to add or respond to please could you send that to me by Monday 25th August.

Kind regards,

Fred Smith


Petition progress since February

I have worked through the demands (bold italics) and identified progress since your email to Rhiannon. We've referred to your speech at the LCC Big Ride [1] and consultations which have been published by TfL.

We would appreciate any comments or updates you can give us. If you prefer to submit a formal response, we will send that to our supporters. We will need to receive any response by the 25th of August to include it in the email.

We call on Boris Johnson and Andrew Gilligan to vastly accelerate their plan for expenditure of the £913 million cycling fund, by releasing an accurate, costed and time-bound plan for how the fund will address cycle safety over the next 12 months, from the end of December 2013.

Your speech to the Big Ride [1] included announcements on:
  • Central London Cycling grid & quietway pilots [2] 
  • Mini-Hollands 
  • Junction improvements [3] 
  • Segregated cycle routes through the centre, proposals to come September & October.
  • There have also been TfL consultations on Vauxhall, CS5, Oval, Kings Cross and the Elephant & Castle northern roundabout.
We would be interested to hear the latest progress. Has there been any progress agreeing suitable routes for the 'Bike Grid' with the boroughs since the online map was published, or is this still ongoing?

- Cycle Superhighway 2
In your response to Rhiannon you said that you would "publish detailed designs in June and begin work in the second half of this year". At the Big Ride you said the consultation would start in September. Are you still targeting a start in 2014?

- Heavy Goods Vehicles
We welcome the Safer Lorries proposal which is currently being consulted upon [4] and you hope to implement early next year.

Are there any updates on banning HGVs during peak times or the ongoing enforcement against HGVs you also mentioned?

- Training for motorists, including TFL staff
No further announcements.

- Training for cyclists No further announcements.

- Further investment in the cycling fund
No further announcements.


Link to the petition:


Note: I have edited out the part where I introduce & tell him a little about myself.