There were 14 cyclist fatalities in London in 2011 of which 10 involved a goods vehicle. In Lambeth, one cyclist was killed by the driver of a Ford Transit van while 40 cyclists were seriously injured in collisions with vehicles, of which a quarter collided with a goods vehicle.
The council is providing practical on-bike training to 120 fleet drivers who operate Lambeth cars or vans, including drivers from Pest Control, Parking, Cemeteries and housing and all FM Conway HGV drivers contracted to work with the council. The training will also be completed by other Lambeth contractors who operate HGVs or vans.
As part of this training programme, a group of 20 HGV drivers from private contractor FM Conway got on their bikes this month to participate in a driver cycle awareness training scheme. The training was sponsored by Lambeth Council in partnership with TfL and involved drivers riding bikes, to experience what it feels like to cycle on London’s roads.
The Conway HGV drivers completed an intensive one day, safe urban driving course designed to hone their professional driver skills to the changing street scene in London, taking the increasing number of cyclists into account.
The course consisted of a classroom session followed by practical cycle training, including off-road control skills and on-road cycling in traffic. The training was provided by Lambeth Council in conjunction with Transport for London and took place at the FM Conway depot in Crayford and on the surrounding streets.
Cllr Pete Robbins, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services, said:
“By supporting the Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling campaign we hope to achieve a marked reduction in the numbers of lorry-related cycling accidents and deaths on Lambeth’s roads, making the borough’s streets safer for all cyclists to use.”
“I’m delighted that we are continuing our working partnership with FM Conway, who have regularly supported Lambeth’s Road Danger Reduction programme by supplying a lorry for events where cyclists are invited to see the view from the driver’s cab.”
“The most important issue is awareness amongst lorry drivers themselves, but it’s also important for cyclists like me to understand the dangers of cycling on the left-hand side of a lorry where you become invisible, in the driver’s blind spot.”
Sharon Field, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at FM Conway Ltd, said: “We are very happy to be part of a campaign which aims to reduce the number of accidents between HGVs and cyclists. The practical nature of this training helps give both cyclists and drivers a unique insight into the hazards they can face on the road and how to reduce potential risks.”