A letter to Ken Livingstone
6.07.07 by Buffalo Bill
Mayor of London
The Queen’s Walk
London SE1 2AA
Dear Mr Livingstone,
My greetings to you on the weekend that the Tour de France, the world’s biggest bicycle race starts from London. My congratulations on bringing Le Tour to London. Thanks also for encouraging more Londoners to get on their bikes.
However, I write to you today with more grave matters on my mind. As you may know, more than half of all cyclists killed in London in the 12 months to June 2006 were killed by collisions with Heavy Goods Vehicles/Large Goods Vehicles (lorries) (9 of a total of 17). In the 7 year period Jan 1999 – November 2005, 60 London cyclists were killed by HGVs/lorries. Although cyclist fatalities in London are falling (from around 22 a year to less than 20), the numbers killed by lorries is going up.
As Chair of the London Bicycle Messenger Association (2003 – 2005), I launched a campaign to reduce the threat from HGV/LGV/lorries to London’s cycle couriers and cyclists. All 7 of the London bicycle messengers to have died whilst working were killed by collisions with lorries. As editor of Moving Target, a web-site aimed at London’s cycle couriers, I have continued to highlight the issue.
Despite some success in stimulating activity in this area from Transport for London, I remain very concerned that not enough is being done to encourage the operators of HGV/LGV/lorries to equip and train their drivers to avoid these tragic and, in most cases, wholly avoidable collisions. I would be grateful if you could indicate what measures are planned for the future to reduce the threat to London’s cyclists from lorries, especially in view of the likely huge increase of construction traffic associated with the 2012 Olympics project.