There was a similar thread to this one made a few years ago after a spate of HGV/cyclist deaths, iirc there was an ex-HGV driver who gave his thoughts on one thread. Reading through this thread after the terrible news of a sixth death in a fortnight I have to generally agree with this point
Be rigorous about the cost/benefit analysis of any intervention
I'm convinced if we as riders want to enact any sort of change we need to start small. I don't think aiming to ban HGVs from inner London during rush hours will get us anywhere, it will face too much opposition and will like mdcc said have many knock-on effects. I think doing a multitude of small things will be both practical and will get support from both the haulage/construction industry, government, and riders. Things that are not going to be too problematic for either camp. Some thoughts:
- Mirrors. How has the tech come along in the last few years? Needs to be something big, that offers width and curved at the bottom to let the driver see down by his farside wheel arch. Increasing the visibility of this blind spot,with these newer mirrors may go some way to stopping future needless deaths. If it isn't made law to have them retrofitted it must be cheap enough for construction firms to buy them and fit them. If not there could be an appropriate insurance premium deduction for HGVs fitted them, forced by law, for an important economic incentive. Sensors too, but sensors are not as fit&forget as a good mirror.
Driver training. I'm not sure what kind of tests these guys need to pass and I assume it's fairly rigorous, but could there be an added cycle-awareness element to the theory/practical test? Could be as simple as a few extra questions or something on a hazard perception test.
Hi-Viz. Isn't this stuff cheap enough to pretty much give away now? TfL could run a scheme giving it out to cyclists at junctions in a package, along with a leaflet warning riders to hold back where there are HGVs and not to go down the inside. Pictures too, as plenty of cyclists in London are from abroad. Hi-Viz could also be given free with every bike purchase, or given free/cheap to riders via bike shops. I really think hi-viz clothing makes a big difference in being seen, so this could help prevent a lot of injuries or near misses too.
Lights: OK these won't be given away free but maybe a model could be govt subsidised? I heard of a scheme in Holland where police would stop riders with no lights and force them to buy+fit a pair from the police themselves. I know London isn't Amsterdam and not sure if plod would go along with this but it's an idea.