The Government has just decided to allow 1,000 more longer lorries on UK roads as part of a trial. Existing lorries are already almost six times more likely than cars to be involved in fatal crashes on local roads, and they're particularly dangerous to cyclists. Please write to your MP today and demand that:
- The Government requires haulage operators in the trial to use GPS to establish what roads are being used and for how long
- The longer lorries are restricted to local roads which have been designated safe by the local authority
Lorries which are 15% (7ft) longer than standard HGVs are currently being trialled on UK roads. Campaign for Better Transport, along with cyclist and road safety groups, are extremely concerned about their massive tail swing.
Now the Government has decided to extend the trial for a further five years after 2022 and allow a further 1,000 longer lorries on our roads. We say the decision is based on flawed research.
There is no independent verification of the data submitted by the operators taking part in the trials and most importantly no data on what local roads they are using and for how long. The safety assessments use highly subjective criteria to assess whether accidents are related to the length of the lorry involved or not. Even the latest report written for the Department for Transport states that it cannot judge the safety of longer lorries on urban roads.
In 2015, in a 'small/medium town', a longer lorry involved in the trial struck a pedestrian with its tail while turning - completely unbeknown to the driver. The Government deemed this not strongly representative of normal longer lorry operations.
For these reasons, we are calling for the trial to be restricted to roads which have been deemed safe by the local authorities. These lorries are not suitable for most urban areas, though they will need access to depots and supermarkets. The haulage companies should pay for this assessment as they are the ones that will benefit from the bigger lorries. Please urge your MP to lobby the Transport Minister to this effect.