Cycling safety campaigner and NLA boss Peter Murray says vast majority of cycling deaths caused by construction industry HGVs
New London Architecture chairman and cycling safety campaigner Peter Murray is demanding action from the whole construction industry after it emerged that four of the five cyclists killed this year on the capital’s roads were involved in accidents with heavy goods vehicles from the sector.
Last week Moira Gemmill, best known for her work at the V&A, died after her bike was hit by a tipper truck operated by Potters Bar-based subcontractor JSM at a notoriously dangerous junction near Lambeth Bridge.
Gemmill was the fifth cyclist killed on London’s streets in 2015 and, according to Transport for London (TfL), all five accidents have involved HGVs with four of these vehicles working in construction.
Murray, the organiser of the recent 2013 London Cycle Summit and founder of the annual Cycle to Cannes ride said architects could help educate contractors about the dangers.
He told the AJ: ‘It is very shocking that construction is responsible for so many deaths. It behoves all those involved in the industry to make greater efforts to reduce this slaughter. Architects should make sure that clients and contractors are fully aware of the issues and that only lorries with properly trained drivers and the necessary safety equipment should be employed on their sites.
‘The Construction Industry Cycling Commission, set up after the death of Francis Golding (AJ 11.11.13), is carrying out research to ascertain the reasons behind the statistics and is working with other safety organisations to reduce these appalling numbers to zero.’
Director of the UK Contractors Group (UKCG) Stephen Ratcliffe said: ‘We share the concerns over the safety of cyclists and other vulnerable road users, particularly in relation to what the construction industry can do to eliminate the toll of death and injuries, particularly evident in London.
‘Through our members, and more directly, we have been working with a variety of interested groups to improve the situation. We particularly support the standard on construction logistics and cycling safety. It covers issues including advance planning, managing the logistics of deliveries, safety equipment for vehicles, training and traffic control around sites. The standard provides a common industry framework.’
Meanwhile TfL said it remained ‘committed to improving road safety for all’ and had a dedicated ‘range of schemes and programmes’ in place to address the issues including a £4 billion ‘road modernisation plan’ featuring upgrades to 33 of London’s most dangerous junctions.
In September TfL also said it was introducing a new Safer Lorry Scheme which will ‘ban lorries from entering the capital without safety equipment’.
Graham Watts, chief executive of the Construction Industry Council (CIC):
‘The CIC absolutely affirms its support for Peter Murray’s campaign, which is of a significance equal to that given to the industry’s concerns about site health and safety following the Prescott Summit all those years ago.
‘These deaths are attributable to the construction industry and the industry has to address the matter with urgency.’