The DfT has said it wants to see more HGV operators adopting measures to improve the safety of vulnerable road users such as cyclists – but has stopped short of backing a call for an industry-wide code of practice on the issue.

A report by the House of Commons Transport Committee in July said it was “greatly concerned” about the number of cyclists killed in collisions with HGVs and called for the road transport sector to create a code of practice (MT 21 July).

In response, the DfT said it was “pleased to see that the industry is taking steps to improve its culture and practice” with regards to the safety of vulnerable road users.

“The department would like to see more companies across the industry adopting such practices,” it added.

It failed to back the committee’s call for a specific code of practice in its response, however, and also failed to address its request for the DfT to outline the steps it would take to ensure cyclist safety if the number of collisions between cyclists and HGVs did not fall.

Stressing that the number of HGVs involved in fatal or serious accidents fell by 53% between 2002 and 2013 (from 2,692 to 1,277), while the number of all types of vehicle involved in such accidents fell by 37% (from 57,509 to 36,020), the DfT said it would “continue to monitor the number and rate of casualties… and would expect to see a continuing reduction in casualty numbers”.

The DfT response also said it was supporting measures to help reduce the number of HGVs on the roads at peak times.

These measures include the reduction of the number of truck journeys needed via the ongoing longer semi-trailer trial, and publication earlier this year of new guidance on the subject of quiet, out-of-hours deliveries.

  • Scania has developed a cycle safe “high vision” urban tipper based on its P-series cab mounted on an LB8X2*6 rear steer chassis. It uses air suspension that can be lowered when running in town to give better vision for the driver and raised when off road to improve ground clearance. None are yet in service though there are a number of LB8x2*6s without air suspension working as milk tankers and other applications where access is restricted.