Lorry drivers change places with cyclists to improve road safety

Lorry drivers are getting on their bikes in a scheme to improve road safety in Kingston.

Free training is on offer to firms whose lorries use Kingston’s roads in an effort to prevent collisions and incidents between large goods vehicles and cyclists.

Drivers take to the road on two wheels with cycling instructors to raise their awareness of traffic hazards and help them share the road safely with other people, particularly cyclists.

The Safe Urban Driving course, funded by Transport for London, also teaches defensive driving techniques and how to avoid collisions.

Around 100 drivers have taken the one-day course in Kingston already.

Councillor Simon James, Kingston Council’s Lead Member for Transport, said:

“While Kingston is one of the safest places in London to cycle, we’re working hard to reduce the risks and number of collisions. Drivers tell us how the course has a positive impact on their driving, which in turn should lead to fewer accidents involving lorries and cyclists.

“In future we will insist that all of our contractors with fleets of lorries can show that their drivers have been on the course.”

Veolia Environmental Services, the council’s waste contractor, has one of the biggest fleets of lorries operating in Kingston.

Simon Johnson, Veolia’s Regional Support Manager, said:

“Veolia is completely committed to Safer Urban Driving Training. We have around 100 drivers in the Kingston area, over half of whom have now received this training, and the rest will attend the courses before the end of June. Our drivers tell me they have found the training both informative and enjoyable and made them question some of their long-held assumptions.”

Kingston Council successfully urged London Councils, the body which represents the capital’s local authorities, to adopt extra powers to force lorries to have more cycle safety measures fitted.