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Mayor's Questions - HGV action
 
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Old 13th October 2009   #1
charlie_lcc
 
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Mayor's Questions - HGV action

Questions going to the Mayor tomorrow include:
Will the cuts to the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit make London's roads less safe for cyclists?
2 more questions on sorting out the Valence Rd x Whitechapel Rd junction.

Is anyone up for an ad-hoc demo 9am-10am????
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Old 13th October 2009   #2
hippy
 
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I'm not available, sorry, but have a bump for those that might be..
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Old 14th October 2009   #3
Bernhard
 
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BBC article about HGV and female cyclists, definately an issue that needs to be addressed.
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Old 14th October 2009   #4
Oliver Schickdonor
 
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Did anyone make it down?

Let's do more of this sort of thing.
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Old 14th October 2009   #5
spindrift
There is only one police unit in London qualified to carry out HGV checks.


Boris plans to scrap it.

Questions going to the Mayor tomorrow include:

Will the cuts to the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit make London's
roads less safe for cyclists?





HGVs in London have a dreadful safety record. Because the HSE refuse
to get involved in road deaths as opposed to deaths onsite, cyclists
deaths are ignored on London's roads and penalties to killer drivers
are laughable.

The most dangerous vehilces, the ones that pose the greatest danger
and the ones that are involved in a disproportionate number of deaths,
are given even greater leeway to lumber around a medievel road layout
unimpeded.

City of London [Police] spot checks on HGVs [were] carried out on 30
September 2008 as part of the Europe-wide Operation Mermaid2, which is
intended to step up levels of enforcement of road safety laws in
relation to lorries.
On this one day, 12 lorries were stopped randomly by City Police. Five
of those lorries were involved in the construction work for the 2012
Olympics. All of the twelve lorries were breaking the law in at least
one way

Repeat:



a 100 per cent criminality rate among small random sample of
HGVs on the streets of central London. The offences range included
overweight loads (2 cases), mechanical breaches (5 cases), driver
hours breaches (5 cases), mobile phone use while driving (2 cases),
driving without insurance (2 cases) and no operator license (1 case).
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Old 14th October 2009   #6
Greasy Slag
 
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^ that is shocking but not surprising!
I didn't get this note till late. how did it go?
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Old 14th October 2009   #7
zero
 
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Mayors Questions is still going on. i woke up far too late to make any protest, annoyingly. no answers will be up until this finishes.. its been nearly 2 hours on though.
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Old 14th October 2009   #8
spindrift
Boris is such a twat it's untrue. The worst vehicles on the roads are being given carte blanche to drive illegally, in unsafe vehicles.
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Old 14th October 2009   #9
Skully
 
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Quote:
a 100 per cent criminality rate among small random sample of
HGVs on the streets of central London. The offences range included
overweight loads (2 cases), mechanical breaches (5 cases), driver
hours breaches (5 cases), mobile phone use while driving (2 cases),
driving without insurance (2 cases) and no operator license (1 case).
Shocking.
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Old 14th October 2009   #10
spindrift
Turning to the issues of lorries, Inspector Aspinall told the meeting
about a day of City of London spot checks on HGVs, carried out on 30
September 2008 as part of the Europe-wide Operation Mermaid, which is
intended to step up levels of enforcement of road safety laws in
relation to lorries.


On this one day, 12 lorries were stopped randomly by City Police.
Five of those lorries were involved in the construction work for the
2012 Olympics. All of the twelve lorries were breaking the law in at
least one way.

Repeat: a 100 per cent criminality rate among small random sample of
HGVs on the streets of central London. The offences range included
overweight loads (2 cases), mechanical breaches (5 cases), driver
hours breaches (5 cases), mobile phone use while driving (2 cases),
driving without insurance (2 cases) and no operator license (1 case).
In some cases the drivers were given a warning and in other cases
there was a more formal police follow up.


No information was given on
convictions following this operation.




Inspector Aspinall said that the London construction vehicle market
(skips, cement mixers, construction materials haulage) was very tight
and competitive. Shady operators with dubious standards and legality
exerted a downward pressure on market prices and that was forcing even
the more responsible companies to cut corners in order to win tenders

. Some companies were even factoring into their costs the
inevitability of a certain number of fines for breaches of the law.





I found this revelation shocking.




http://thebikeshow.net/city-of-londo...orum/#more-342
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Old 14th October 2009   #11
zero
 
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right, question has just come up.
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Old 14th October 2009   #12
zero
 
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Aparently Boris has been sending educational DVDs out to freight operators about taking appropriate care for cycles, who thinks that one is making a difference?
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Old 14th October 2009   #13
spindrift
I would suggest that HGV drivers in illegal vehicles who have no insurance couldn't give a flying fuck about educational dvds.
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Old 14th October 2009   #14
sem
Quote:
Originally Posted by zero View Post
Aparently Boris has been sending educational DVDs out to freight operators about taking appropriate care for cycles, who thinks that one is making a difference?
that's about as useful as a fart in a jar

maybe he can send some educational DVD's to the families of the deceased and injured explaining to them why he is a twat.
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Old 14th October 2009   #15
Ufrasia
 
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An educational DVD you say? Thank fuck for Boris - now the streets are safe! TWAT. How much did that DVD cost to make and distribute? You can buy a mirror for the front lorry blind spot for 15. Why didn't he just send them one of those each?

RT @GreenJennyJones We can't do our job. Tomorrow the Mayor will make a major (and late) transport statement (cuts?). Not today, so we can't ask him questions.

RT @thebikeshow Mayor Boris didn't mention his planned cuts to the only police unit in London qualified to carry out HGV checks.

Total coward.
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Old 14th October 2009   #16
LaLiLuLeLo
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ufrasia View Post
You can buy a mirror for the front lorry blind spot for 15. Why didn't he just send them one of those each?
It seems such a simple task but so hard to enforce... for them.
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Old 14th October 2009   #17
somebodydonor
There is only one police unit in London qualified to carry out HGV checks.


Boris plans to scrap it.

^originally posted by spindrift.

really alarming news.

he should be adding to the enforcement team. not cutting it.

Last edited by somebody; 14th October 2009 at 16:20. Reason: acknowledgement
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Old 14th October 2009   #18
edmundrodonor
 
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More thoughts on scary trucks in london famous london.
Todays truck, the rare but not entirely unseen tree surgery spec UNIMOG

-Note the 8ft solid steel chipper protruding from the bumper. This is permanently mounted, it does fold to some extent but still sticks out a good 5ft or so. This could cause problems as they tend to creep out at junctions as the drivers vision is obstructed by the machinery, i imagine the vast majority of cyclists will be looking for car shaped objects so this may cause problems.
-Also, they're big. Think 7.5ton truck but taller and almost as wide as a full artic, then add the chipper at the front and possibly a trailer as well.
-Primarily designed as a military vehicle for use off road/areas such as airports/farms where traffic is restricted, as a result of this they are classed as agricultural vehicles and as such do not come under the same safety regs as regular Trucks. this means the mirrors are woefully small, especially on older examples
-Piloted by tired, overworked tree surgeons - I have way too many horror stories on this subject. An industry where alcoholism, drug use and too much agression/testosterone are commonplace is no place for unsafe vehicles imho. Then again its no place for booze/drugs/wankers either but it doesn't ever change...

Oh, and the real kicker? As its technically a farm vehicle it can be driven on a tractor license by a 16yr old, or a regular car driving license at 17 - no special training/tests required - wtf?

There are several tree companies who operate in central london and many many others around the country who use these trucks(along with countless other industries no doubt) so be warned. They're big, archaic military vehicles barely adequate to be on the roads at all, let alone in the middle of town.
I have no idea if there have been any accidents directly relating to mogs in london but I've nearly been taken out by one who overtook me correctly, then turned left across my path into a junction. chased down to berate the driver, turned out a former collegue of mine was in the driving seat. cunt.
Avoid like the plague.

Tomorrows truck: the pikey rag and bone transit pickup with plywood sides held together with bailer twine. Frequent impromptue stopping to rob copper/alu and poorly secured loads. Fail.

Overly long and slightly irrelevant post but seemed the best place for it after what i've just read here already.


More enforcement, not less boris you silly tit.
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Old 14th October 2009   #19
Oliver Schickdonor
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edmundro View Post
They're big, archaic military vehicles barely adequate to be on the roads at all, let alone in the middle of town.
Unimogs?
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Old 14th October 2009   #20
edmundrodonor
 
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Yup.
Even the brand new ones freak me out. Sat in the cab of one at a trade show last year. The blindspots are worse than anything else i've ever been in. And thats before adding the box on the back for woodchip etc.
I know they're incredible pieces of engineering but not in london. No way. Mirrors should be scrapped in favour of cameras, unfortunately these would be demolished by falling branches in a week and the screens in the cab used for porn/eastenders.

i hate my job
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Old 14th October 2009   #21
zero
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ufrasia View Post
An educational DVD you say? Thank fuck for Boris - now the streets are safe! TWAT. How much did that DVD cost to make and distribute? You can buy a mirror for the front lorry blind spot for 15. Why didn't he just send them one of those each?

RT @GreenJennyJones We can't do our job. Tomorrow the Mayor will make a major (and late) transport statement (cuts?). Not today, so we can't ask him questions.

RT @thebikeshow Mayor Boris didn't mention his planned cuts to the only police unit in London qualified to carry out HGV checks.

Total coward.
he did suggest they were sending out mirrors for the blind spots as well, but didn't specify how many. that's not entirely the point though. it's important that the vehicles on the road comply with the law, and the unit are qualified to spot, stop and give the drivers the information they need to be safe and in road legal vehicles, and with them being 'officials' within the police force, might actually get a bit of respect.

@edmundro - those things are terrifying.
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Old 15th October 2009   #22
alien
the fare increases have hit the news, (twitter, the standard http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...10-c-charge.do ) but nothing yet ref funding of this police unit.
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Old 15th October 2009   #23
teddy
 
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hey just wanted to mention this. a mate of mine who works in casualty says that she's treated about a dozen cyclists who were injured in accidents with hgv's recently.

she says that almost all of the victims say that the last thing they remember is being sucked under the trucks. be careful when passing/getting passed by these things. give them plenty of room.
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Old 15th October 2009   #24
spindrift
15.10.09

A specialist police unit dealing with HGV accidents is to be disbanded.

Transport for London has withdrawn the 1 million-a-year funding that pays for the Met's Commercial Vehicle Education Unit, which helps prevent cyclists being crushed by lorries.

Mayor Boris Johnson, who is chairman of TfL, was told shutting down the unit was "misguided".

The CVEU will close in March.

Jenny Jones, a Green party London Assembly member, said: "The Mayor is risking Londoners' lives in order to save a small amount of money."



http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...safety-unit.do
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Old 15th October 2009   #25
alien
ffs. :-( tweeted.
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Old 15th October 2009   #26
Ufrasia
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teddy View Post
hey just wanted to mention this. a mate of mine who works in casualty says that she's treated about a dozen cyclists who were injured in accidents with hgv's recently.

she says that almost all of the victims say that the last thing they remember is being sucked under the trucks. be careful when passing/getting passed by these things. give them plenty of room.
Hi Teddy,

Any chance you could put the action group in contact with your friend. We'd really like to gather moe info from survivors.

Jo
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Old 16th October 2009   #27
BringMeMyFix
 
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Quick bump for those arriving at work and going straight on the internet - I'm sure some of you do this.

You might be aware of the goings on cited earlier in the thread, but it's worth knowing about the 'exciting development' in post number 24.

I've had this nagging doubt recently that London's reverting to a shittier status quo. Bus services have deteriorated, the roads are a mess, air quality tastes like it's on the slide... all this in the last year or so.

Can't think why :/
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Old 16th October 2009   #28
PinkGottiMobbs
 
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I cant really understand why he would do this. As a cyclist himself surly he would want the roads as safe as possible for himself. Either that or he is spending the 1m on a one person cycle bridge from Islington to the GLA so he can cycle to work safely himself.
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Old 16th October 2009   #29
crankbrother
has anyone thought about contacting someone with a bit more political muscle who could put pressure on our good friend Boris. You know someone who is in tune with the public feeling .... Stephen fry for example has 841742 followers on twitter alone and probably a whole lot more who listen to his podcasts i dont know, anyone who can increase public awareness, surely people care?
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Old 16th October 2009   #30
BringMeMyFix
 
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Just to reiterate:

Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
15.10.09

A specialist police unit dealing with HGV accidents is to be disbanded.

Transport for London has withdrawn the 1 million-a-year funding that pays for the Met's Commercial Vehicle Education Unit, which helps prevent cyclists being crushed by lorries.

Mayor Boris Johnson, who is chairman of TfL, was told shutting down the unit was "misguided".

The CVEU will close in March.

Jenny Jones, a Green party London Assembly member, said: "The Mayor is risking Londoners' lives in order to save a small amount of money."



http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...safety-unit.do
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Old 16th October 2009   #31
adoubletap
 
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It's even more boggling because he personally was nearly killed on Narrow St by an HGV whose driver had decided a coat hanger was the best way to secure the rear doors of his lorry.
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Old 16th October 2009   #32
BringMeMyFix
 
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Total puppet, but then most high profile Tories are.
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Old 7th January 2010   #33
alien
I have received this from Jenny Jones ref CEVU and the future - there's a PDF as well to read - it is attached.
----------
Jenny Jones asked me to circulate this letter from Boris Johnson to interested cyclists, please feel free to pass on.
Hi
I have finally had a response from Boris Johnson about the Commercial Education Vehicle Unit being cut (attached). I wrote to him back in November with a set of specific questions about the functions which the CEVU carries out to address the lack of a safety culture in many dark corners of the freight industry. The reply represents a significant shift from the Mayor's initial responses which emphasised the role which Transport for London and the Freight Operators Recognition Scheme would play. This response recognises that it will in fact be the Met Police who will have to carry out most of the functions of the CEVU, but without the 1m of annual funding from TFL.
The Traffic Police within the Met are already having to make efficiency savings, along with the rest of the service. The creation of a specialist team to deal with commercial vehicles will probably require cuts to other important work which the Traffic Unit currently carry out. If this team is less than the 12 specialist police officers currently employed in the CEVU, then it will raise concerns about a loss of capacity. I will therefore be pressing the Mayor to increase funding for the Met Police Traffic Unit in order to set up a specialist team and to compensate for the TfL cut.
You can contact the London Mayor on: Mayor@london.gov.uk
E-mail addresses for Assembly Members are available at : http://www.london.gov.uk/assembly/lams_facts_cont.jsp
Jenny Jones
Green Party member of the London Assembly
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Reply from Mayor to Jenny Jones CVEU.pdf (183.0 KB)
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Old 7th January 2010   #34
richoking
 
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Vote a monkey you get a monkey.
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Old 7th January 2010   #35
Skully
 
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Not true. Other people voted for him, but I have to live with his decisions.

So that's: Vote for a newt, but get a monkey.
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Old 15th March 2010   #36
serkdonor
 
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I've been looking for the right place to ask this question and I figure I'll just do it here:

I assume that the HSE do not look after cyclist/HGV deaths? For instance, the HSE keep statistics on all the H&S related accidents/fatalities from last year in the construction industry. They claim of 53 deaths only 3 were members of the public. The HSE website states:

Quote:
  1. Fatal accidents involving workers travelling on a public highway (a ‘road traffic accident’). Such incidents are enforced by the police and reported to the Department for Transport. Those killed whilst commuting (travelling from home to work, and vice versa) are also excluded.
Does this make sense? If these instances are not reportable under RIDDOR then what incentive is there for contractors to carry out risk assessments and plan/manage the health and safety of the public off their site. For example, if they were reportable then wouldn't someone like Mace be carrying out detailed risk assessments of their haulage journey planning and routes from the Shard? It might make them segregate the routes, or avoid peak commuter times.

My reasoning (as applied to the above example) is that if you stick a fatality onto Mace's contract record there would be the kind of financial incentive for them to avoid traffic during peak commuter periods. Or ensure that the tippers used on their projects have all the most state of the art safety measures in place.

But perhaps it would be unfair to have traffic incidents reportable to the HSE for haulage companies. I haven't thought the problem through fully. I just know that all major contractors take H&S exteremely seriously, and all other risks to the public and employees on a construction site are incredibly well managed. If we added transport/highway injuries as reportable it might encourage contractors to take measures further on their own backs.
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Old 15th March 2010   #37
Oliver Schickdonor
 
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serk, Google for 'Commercial Vehicle Education Unit' or search on here. A good part of our criticism of the Mayor's decision to cut funding for this was that it was the only police unit in the country with H&S powers. These have now transferred to the Commercial Vehicle Unit.

It's not the whole H&S caboodle just yet, but it's a start.
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Old 15th March 2010   #38
serkdonor
 
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Thanks Oli!
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Old 15th March 2010   #39
serkdonor
 
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@Oliver

So I wasn't far off in my assumption that things would be better if the HSE were to get involved in road deaths in LGV/HGV cases. I think that is going to be my stance until someone points out an obvious reason why they shouldn't. I mean, if you search the HSE site one of the first ones that comes up is this:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2007/gnnne29807.htm

If the company isn't capable of running the correct risk assessments for the drivers within the yard, it seems pretty negligent to allow them to operate on the public highway!

I'm not seeing much on the Commercial Vehicle Unit. TfL have links to FORS - and FORS appears to be a privately run/voluntary scheme? How is it stacking up compared to the CVEU?

As an Engineer, I could make a request that contractors tendering for a project ensure all their haulage companies are a member of FORS. But would that make a difference?

This isn't really my area. I'm not in contracting and I don't do highway projects. I was a project engineer on well over 100m worth of development within London last year. If there is something useful that can be done at a consultant level I'd like to work out what it is!
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Old 16th March 2010   #40
Oliver Schickdonor
 
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You're spot on about the importance of H&S in this area. FORS doesn't do much in that regard. What's happened is that the Met traffic division have retained their H&S powers, albeit without that cancelled Mayoral funding, and moved it to the Commercial Vehicle Unit. It's not the worst outcome, although it still means a shortfall in funding.

I'm not sure what you can do as a project engineer, not my area at all, but if it becomes best practice to request such things, it is certainly worth ensuring that all lorry drivers of companies you use have had cycle training (not such an unusual thing these day, following LB Lambeth's influential initiative with its own drivers) and it certainly helps if the company have had input from the CVEU/CVU, although how exactly that works in practice, I don't know. You can contact RoadPeace or the LCC about it.
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