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In the ongoing push to reduce the number of accidents between HGVs and cyclists, the government has come up with a number of controversial ideas that may or may not work. One of the latest ideas is one that it could result in the end of HGV drivers operating in the busiest city centres. According to a recent news reports, David Cameron is open to the idea of banning lorries in congested urban areas such as the capital.

Motoring.co.uk reported late last week that the Prime Minister asked the Department for Transport (DfT) to examine the feasibility of banning HGVs from city centres. His seeming change of heart comes on the heels of Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston claiming there is a strong case for restricting how and when lorries can operate in the centre of London. Moreover, as we all know, London mayor Boris Johnson has been clamouring for tighter restrictions for a while now.

Proponents of the ban say the idea is not abnormal by any stretch. Bans already exist in cities such as Paris and Dublin. If a ban were considered here, the question would be one of whether or not to restrict lorries and other large trucks altogether or just at certain times of the day.

As for the haulage industry, any ban would be completely unwelcome. However, if the DfT should move forward, it would need to be with the understanding that banning HGVs from city centres during the daytime hours would require lifting any current bans that restrict overnight deliveries. HGV drivers have to be able to get into city centres at some point or companies risk going out of business because they cannot complete deliveries. A total ban that would require cargo to be transported into the city using smaller vans would be too cost-prohibitive to make it worthwhile. Consumers would suffer too.

This year has been especially troublesome insofar as HGV and cycle accidents are concerned. Already there have been a significant number of deaths in London, prompting calls by cyclist organisations to make changes right away. Nevertheless, is a ban on HGVs the right solution?

Designing Safer Vehicles

Since the beginning of the year, there have been efforts to make urban streets safer by designing and manufacturing safer HGVs. Redesigned vehicles have barely hit the road at this point, so enacting a ban before we see how these new vehicles work seems somewhat premature. In addition, some municipalities have undertaken training courses allowing cyclists and HGV drivers to swap places. Those efforts have proved fruitful. Perhaps it is premature to consider a ban until we see how far current measures will take us.

While the debate rages, the HGV Training Centre will continue to offer industry-leading training for new and current HGV drivers. We train students to operate lorries, tipper trucks, buses, coaches, heavy construction equipment, and more. Our classes are convenient and cost-effective, offered at more than 45 facilities around the UK.

Sources:

Motoring – https://www.motoring.co.uk/car-news/government-to-consider-banning-hgvs-from-cities_66733

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