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Call for HGV ban in cities could radically change logistics work in the UK

By: William Hobson
24 November 2010

A call for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) to be banned from the streets of British cities could drastically transform logistics work within the UK.

As reported by The Guardian, researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) conducted a detailed analysis of police road casualty data between 1992 and 2006. The LSHTM team found that despite only making 4% of road trips, HGVs were involved in nearly half (43%) of London's cycling deaths.

Following their findings being published in the BMC Public Health Journal, the authors have called for HGV's to be banned from congested metropolitan environments within the UK.

"Our research, combined with that carried out previously, reveals that there has been no reduction in cycling fatalities in almost a quarter of a century," said lead study author Andrei Morgan. "Measures are required to make cycling safer and to reduce the number of people dying so needlessly on our roads....HGV's are involved in a disproportionate number of cycling fatalities on the capital's roads."

"It is for this reason we are calling for all freight vehicles over 3.5 tonnes to be removed from urban roads and for safer, alternative solutions to be sought for transporting essential goods."

Morgan appears to be more than aware of the disruptive effect such a policy would have on commercial driving work within the UK. In the place of the current system, he has proposed that a network of distribution centres be built on the edges of towns and cities so that goods can be decanted into smaller vehicles.

The study's release comes in the same month as Transport For London (TfL) launched a cycle safety awareness campaign. This offered both HGV driver training to minimise the risk to cyclists and training to cyclists to ensure they knew to approach HGV's from safe angles and to be aware of potential blind spots.


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