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99% intend to change their cycling habits after getting behind the wheel of an HGV, new figures show

By Nick Mann

99% intend to change their cycling habits after getting behind the wheel of an HGV, new figures show
  • More than 850 cyclists take part in ‘Exchanging Places’ event at the London Bike Show
  • Almost all say they intend to cycle differently because of the experience

Almost everyone who got behind the wheel of a heavy goods vehicle at the London Bike Show said that they intend to change the way they cycle, due to the experience.

More than 850 cyclists took part in ‘Exchanging Places’ run by Crossrail and the Metropolitan Police Service, which allows them to see the road from a lorry driver’s point of view. The event allowed cyclists to get a better understanding of what drivers can and cannot see. Most were unaware of the size of blind spots from inside the driver’s cab.

Chief Superintendent Sultan Taylor, Safer Transport Command said: “Exchanging Places is an award-winning programme which addresses the most common cause of serious injury and death to cyclists - collisions involving a heavy goods vehicle. We’re very grateful to Crossrail and to the London Bike Show for giving us the opportunity to speak to many people and pass on our tips.  Our feedback shows that everyone who took part will recommend our programme to their friends - that’s a great endorsement. I’d encourage anyone who couldn’t make it to the show to watch our YouTube video.”

Steve Hails, Health and Safety Director at Crossrail, said
: “The Exchanging Places programme is an important way of engaging with cyclists to raise awareness of the hazards when sharing the roads with HGVs. These events complement Crossrail’s Lorry Driver Training Programme which also ensures that drivers on the project are aware of vulnerable road users.”

The Mayor of London recently announced that lorries without safety equipment to protect cyclists and pedestrians will be banned from London. The proposed ban will require every vehicle in London over 3.5 tonnes to be fitted with sideguards to protect cyclists.

The ban will also require them to be fitted with mirrors giving the driver a better view of cyclists and pedestrians around their vehicles. It will be enforced by CCTV cameras and on-street checks, subject to approval by the Department for Transport.

All heavy goods vehicles delivering to Crossrail must have special cycle safety equipment and all regular drivers must attend a one day training course about vulnerable road users.

Crossrail requires heavy goods vehicles to be fitted with a Fresnel lens or camera, blind spot detection equipment which warns the driver when a cyclist is in the near-side blind spot and under-run guards to prevent cyclists from coming into contact with lorry wheels. Heavy goods vehicles must also carry signs to warn cyclists and pedestrians about the dangers of getting too close.

Ends

For further information contact the Crossrail Press Office on 020 3229 9552 or email [email protected]

Notes to editors: 

852 cyclists filled out a questionnaire after taking part in Exchanging Places at the London Bike Show. When asked ‘Will you change your riding as a result’ 850 responded ‘Yes’ and two responded ‘No’.

Exchanging Places is an award-winning programme which addresses the most common cause of serious injury and death to cyclists - collisions involving a heavy goods vehicle (HGV).  It gives cyclists the opportunity to sit in the driver’s seat of an HGV to see for themselves how difficult it can be to see a cyclist riding close to the lorry.  Experienced traffic police officers explain how this type of collision often happens and the various ways to avoid them.

More than 12,000 cyclists have taken part in the programme, run by the TfL funded, MPS Cycle Task Force. Exchanging Places won a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in 2013 for its success in promoting safer cycling.  Please see web-link to the official video for more info:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UN7mJR64tvs

Click here to find out when and where the next Exchanging Places event is taking place: http://content.met.police.uk/Site/safetyandsecurityadvice

In 2009 Crossrail introduced its Lorry Driver Training (LDT) programme. The main focus of the LDT is sharing London’s roads with vulnerable road users and since starting the course Crossrail has trained over 6,200 HGV drivers working on the project.

About Crossrail:

The total funding envelope available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn.

The Crossrail route will pass through 38 stations and run more than 100km from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km (13 miles) tunnels below central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

When Crossrail opens it will increase London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration and cutting journey times across the city. Crossrail services are due to commence through central London in 2018.

Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.

www.crossrail.co.uk