Debate Magazine

Stupid Idea Of The Day

Posted on the 30 September 2016 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

From the BBC:
Thousands of lorries could be banned from London to make the roads safer for cyclists, under plans proposed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
He wants a rating system from zero to five stars for heavy goods vehicles based on the driver's level of vision from the cab. The 35,000 zero star-rated HGVs currently operating in London would be banned by 2020 under the proposals...
Nine cyclists and 66 pedestrians were killed in the capital last year, according to Transport for London. The mayor's office said that over the past two years HGVs were involved in 23% of pedestrian fatalities and 58% of cyclist deaths in London, despite accounting for just 4% of the miles driven in the city.

Motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians just do not mix. Motor vehicles go on roads, pedestrians go on pavements and unfortunately there isn't really space for a decent network of cycle paths. It would be lovely if we had them, they are a joy to use, but we don't and that is the end of the matter.
Lorries only make up 4% of miles driven? So what? They bring in 90% of all the goods consumed in London and take 100% of the rubbish. Far more relevant to point out that only 1% of commuter journeys are by bicycle. London would manage just fine if nobody ever used a bicycle again, ban lorries and we're screwed. If politicians really cared about cyclists being killed and injured, they'd do a far better job by banning bicycles.
Further, for every one large lorry they ban, they will have to use a dozen smaller vans, so that will increase traffic volume by forty or fifty per cent, and I don't think anybody wants that, not even cyclists. Except all the people selling and driving the vans, I suppose.
Rant over.

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