Hackney Cycle Safe campaign - Lorries in the frame

Lorries and tipper trucks entered the frame this week as part of the Gazette’s Hackney Cycle Safe campaign, following a spate of collisions in the borough.

The death of cyclist Daniel Cox in early February reignited fears about the safety of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) on Hackney’s roads.

The 28-year-old was involved in a crash with a large yellow Mercedes three-axle truck at Dalston Junction.

A second Hackney cyclist was seriously injured last Thursday morning (February 24) when she was knocked off her bike in a collision with a white tipper truck on the Old Street roundabout in Shoreditch.

Hackney Council revealed last week that there were 57 accidents involving both cyclists and HGVs between 2006 and 2009 in the borough. Of the seven fatal cycling collisions in this time, HGVs were involved in five.

Anthony Smith, 36, was killed in a smash with a tipper lorry at the junction of Middleton Road and Kingsland Road in April 2008.

And Hackney charity worker Shivon Watson, died after she was trapped between railings and a tipper truck as they both turned left on the Victoria Park Road roundabout in South Hackney last March.

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Safety campaigners say many of these large lorries would have been travelling to or from building sites in the borough.

“It is undeniable that it is construction related,” said Trevor Parsons, of Hackney Cyclists.

“It is a spin-off of a booming economy in that respect, with more housing being built and an increasing population and investment.”

The collisions have prompted calls for better design and equipment.

London Cycling Campaign’s No More Lethal Lorries drive demands that the best mirrors, cameras and sensors are used by all large goods vehicles as standard.

And the See Me Save Me campaign calls on the European Parliament to consider forcing firms to fit cameras or sensors to HGVs in order to reduce “blind spots”.

Charlie Lloyd, LCC cycling development officer and Hackney cyclist, said: “None of these things are hard and fast solutions but it is part of building awareness of lorry drivers.”

Gordon Telling, head of urban logistics at the Freight Transport Association, which represents haulage firms, backed the Gazette’s Hackney Cycle Safe campaign and said: “One cycling fatality is one too many, but tragically London sees by far the highest proportion of cycle and lorry collisions.

“Commercial vehicle operators spend millions of pounds improving vehicles and installing safety systems to reduce the likelihood of collisions between lorries and cyclists.”

What do you think should be done to tackle the number of collisions involving HGVs and cyclists?

To join our Hackney Cycle Safe campaign, go to the homepage and click on the campaign logo.