Lorry drivers get on their bikes

Lorry drivers took to two wheels to experience life on the road as cyclists as part of Ealing Council’s commitment to cycle safety.

Lorry drivers on their bikes with Councillor Mahfouz for cycle safety training
Lorry drivers on their bikes with Councillor Mahfouz for cycle safety training

Ealing Council has committed to providing Safer Urban Driving training for heavy goods vehicle drivers working for council contractors, including Murrills Construction who carry out highways work and Enterprise drivers who collect refuse and recycling in the borough.

So far more than 100 drivers have completed the training.

The course aims to reduce accidents involving bicycles and lorries by giving drivers an insight into cyclists’ behaviour.

The intensive one day training includes taking drivers on a  three-and-a-half hour cycle ride on nearby roads to help them understand the risks lorries can pose to cyclists and learn practical ways to reduce the chances of an accident when driving.

There is also a classroom session covering topics such as sharing the road and avoiding collisions.

The course was delivered by Cycle Training UK using funding given to Ealing Council from Transport for London’s (TfL’s) Local Implementation Plan.

Around half of all cyclists deaths on London’s roads since 2000 involved collisions with HGVs and three cyclists have died in incidents involving lorries in Ealing.

Ealing Council’s agreed at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 19 March, to implement recommendations in the London Cycling Campaign’s Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling pledge.

As part of the pledge the council is working towards achieving bronze level of TFL’s Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme which sets standards to encourage organisations to be safer, greener and more efficient.

Other parts of the pledge include:

  • Improving signs on vehicles warning cyclists of the dangers of under-taking
  • Installing safety devices such as extra mirrors to make it easier to see cyclists
  • Insisting that drivers on council contracts meet a range of additional safety standards

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for environment and transport met drivers at the council’s Greenford depot before they set off on the road. A regular cyclist, councillor Mahfouz said:

“Road safety is a priority for us and we want to do what we can to avoid any more cyclists losing their lives in accidents involving lorries in this borough.

“I’m delighted that our contractors Murrills and Enterprise see how important it is to have their drivers trained and the feedback I received from those who attended the course was very positive.

“It builds upon the national award winning Direct Support for Cycling training programme that we run for cyclists and makes them aware of safety issues on the road. If all road users have a real appreciation of those in other modes of transport, it’s a major step to making our streets safer for all.”

Visit our cycling pages for information on cycle training, maintenance sessions and cycle routes.