Thousands more HGV drivers to be trained in respecting cyclists’ safety

Mayor of London Boris Johnson pledged extra cash to train thousands more HGV drivers in how to respect cyclists’ safety.

The mayor said Transport for London has already trained 5,400 professional drivers and from April a further 4,500 will go through exercises with the Metropolitan Police’s traffic safety arm, the Commercial Vehicle Task Force.

Since December, TfL has paid for six extra officers for the division.

Mr Johnson vowed to take action after two cyclists died within weeks of each other at Bow roundabout in the autumn.

Brian Dorling, 58 and 34-year-old Svetlana Tereschenko collided with HGVs at different spots on the junction, which is part of one of the flagship superhighways.

The London Cycling Campaign welcomed the safety initiative and said, along with Crossrail, Transport for London has “led the way” in driver education.

Campaigns officer Charlie Lloyd, a former HGV driver himself, said: “The very best training gets HGV drivers out on bicycles for real life safety experience.”

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He said Tower Hamlets council should now follow in the footsteps of neighbouring Hackney and introduce free training for all its contractors.

He added: “Lorry drivers and cyclists both need safer streets, making it easier to avoid crashes. Spaying blue paint here and there is not enough.”

Mr Johnson said: “Some companies are leading the way in showing what can be achieved, but this needs to be reflected across the industry.”

Crossrail is also providing training with a driver induction programme.

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