- Our Solutions
The safety of heavy goods vehicles or HGVs in large cities has been a focus of many discussions in the UK. As a result of these discussions, several potential solutions and strategies have been brought forth.
Transport for London
TFL has made a proposal to improve lorry safety in the city so that they are less of a danger to other road users. Their latest scheme involves the strengthening of lorry safety requirements in the city of London so that the number of fatal collisions with pedestrians and cyclists can be reduced, if not eliminated.
This newest proposal follows the work done by the earlier Safer Lorry Scheme initiative, which sought to eliminate the blind spots in lorries and HGVs by requiring they be equipped with side guards, extended view mirrors and other such required safety equipment. The side guards would reduce the risk to cyclists of being dragged underneath the vehicle should a collision occur. The extended view mirrors would increase driver field-of-view while decreasing blind spot size.
ULC (Urban Logistic Centres) Adoption
Another, more controversial potential solution calls for the adoption of ULCs, or urban logistics centres. These centres would be located at city edges where goods transfers occur from pollution-emitting, large HGVs to more environmentally-friendly, smaller and safer vehicles.
One of the main objectives of this initiative is to improve the air quality in major cities and decrease the number and cost of premature deaths due to poor air quality. However, ULCs would also serve many other purposes. They could help bring ‘livability’ back to cities, as noise would be reduced and the number of accidents due to large vehicles virtually eliminated. As well, having ULCs in place would allow traffic congestion in large cities to be greatly reduced. The latter is significant, as it’s estimated that traffic congestion costs the UK economy a whopping £10Bn annually.
Speed Limit Management
Figures from the Department of Transport reveal that over 80% of articulated HGVs exceeded dual carriageway speed limits of 50mph in 2013. As well, it was revealed that 73% of HGVs exceeded the 40mph limit on single carriageways in that same year.
The improved management of speed limits has been proposed as another solution to managing HGVs in large cities. With the increase in the size of the HGVs being allowed on today’s roads, management of speed limits may become a higher priority.
Overload and Driveability Enforcement
Official checks on domestic and foreign lorries take place on a regular basis. Many of the HGVs checked are found to be overloaded, with a large number of these vehicles originating from foreign locations. A significant number of lorries were removed from the road due to dangerous mechanical failures as well as overloading. Therefore, a next possible step would be to increase the severity of punishment doled out to non-complying HGVs to act as more of a deterrent, and ensure they are enforced for overseas offenders.