A balanced approach to enforcement for all road users was a key message to emerge from speakers at the FTA’s Managing Freight in London conference on Tuesday (2 June).

It is also imperative that all road users addressed road safety issues to reduce serious or fatal incidents, said Rob Lowe from TfL’s on-street enforcement team: “We realise that a reduction in HGV-related KSIs cannot be achieved just by bashing the freight industry. All road users must be fully aware of their responsibilities.”

Operation Safeway, launched 18 months ago, places uniformed officers at hotspot junctions to tackle law-breaking and provide support and education to all road users.

During March alone, Metropolitan Police sergeant Rob Beckers said more than 444 fixed penalty notices were issued to cyclists, which he said was indicative of the level of roadside enforcement activity taking place in the capital at present.


He added: “Traditionally, we've seen a large amount of people levelling criticism at the lorry drivers out there - particularly some of the cycling groups, in the past, have been a little bit problematic in their approach towards blameworthiness. What this does indicate is that there is a balanced approach. We have now seen the London Cycling Campaign and other cycling groups come on-board and support us by recognising the work we do is essential.”

Ensuring the messages that go out to the public clearly state any HGV-targeted enforcement is intelligence-led and targeted and not representative of the entire road freight sector is also important, said Becker. However, he added that “unfortunately, some of the way this is put across by the press is not correct”.

Responding to a question from the audience, TfL commissioner Sir Peter Hendy also said he would like to change the way the media treats HGV and cyclist collisions. “They write it in a way that presumes fault by one party.” He said a lot of what is reported in the press is “at odds” with the evidence that subsequently emerges.