The road transport industry has been urged to create an industry-wide code of practice on cyclists’ safety and a clear programme of work to

promote the enforcement of safety regulations.

The warning, made in a report from the House of Commons transport committee, was accompanied by a call for the DfT to take more direct action if there is not a reduction in the proportion of cyclists involved in collisions with HGVs.

The report said it was “greatly concerned” by the number of cyclists killed in collisions with HGVs and added that the disproportionate number of HGVs involved in collisions with cyclists “demonstrates that the industry must improve its safety record”.

“We are concerned by the number of construction vehicles involved in fatal collisions with cyclists, and the failure of some haulage companies to follow best practice around cycle safety,” it stated.

Calling on the freight sector to create “a culture of safety”, it added: “The effectiveness of these measures must be monitored and demonstrated by a reduction in the proportion of cyclists’ collisions involving HGVs and in the number of cyclists injured or killed in collisions with HGVs. If such a reduction is not forthcoming once safety measures are implemented, we expect the department to set out the steps it will take to ensure the safety of cyclists on our roads.”

Approximately 20% of cycling fatalities in the past five years have involved HGVs, despite them accounting for just 5% of traffic. Last year, there were 109 cyclist road accident deaths in England, Wales and Scotland.

“The road haulage and construction sectors must pursue best practice to improve their road safety record,” said Louise Ellman MP, chairwoman of the committee. “It’s vital they curb the high number of big vehicles involved in fatal collisions with cyclists.”

The committee also used the report to call on the DfT for an update on progress in closing the loophole that exempts volumetric mixers  from annual roadworthiness inspections and their operators from the O-licensing regime.