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09/12/2010 // INFO 1 Comment

Watch out, there is an inexperienced cyclist about



Nice to see the main freight association in the UK issuing guidance to its members that they should be on the “watch out”  for cyclists on the roads despite the ever so slightly condescending tone of the message.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) said its members and lorry drivers in general should be extra vigilant of cyclists on the roads in London due to what it termed as the thousands of “inexperienced” riders that would now be on the capital’s streets.

The FTA said it was expecting more cyclists to take to the road as the Barclays London Cycle Hire Scheme opened to casual users. It added that problems could occur with cyclists, who had perhaps never cycled or hadn’t done so for a long time, and as a result would not know how to behave around a lorry.

The FTA was also at pains to say that the vast majority of truck drivers were well aware of the dangers cyclists can sometimes expose “themselves to” around heavy goods vehicles and it would like to promote greater understanding between cyclists, as “vulnerable road users”, and lorry drivers.

Here at Going Going Bike, we are fully aware of the dangers of a bad cyclist and the accidents they might cause, but we think the FTA should be reminding their members of the dangers of bad driving and educating them on safer driving around cyclists.

While we welcome, the FTA’s message, the issue at heart does not require “understanding” it requires lorry drivers to take responsibility for their actions and be courteous road users. The consequences for a cyclist of an accident are after all so much greater than that for the HGV/lorry driver.

*The London Cycling Campaign recently published an article in London Cyclist magazine listing measures that can improve lorry/HGV design to make cycling safer in London. Click here to see the article.

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