Allowing longer lorries on UK roads will risk more cycling accident claims | Fieldfisher
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Allowing longer lorries on UK roads will risk more cycling accident claims

The Government has introduced new laws to allow longer lorries on UK roads from the end of May, despite data that indicate HGVs are disproportionately involved in deaths on British roads.

Leading charity Cycling UK said calculations based on official figures found HGVs accounted for 3.4 per cent of traffic, but were involved in 15.5 per cent of cyclist and 11 per cent of pedestrian deaths.

Campaigners also say long lorries have not been adequately tested in town centres and rural areas since most of the testing during the 11-year trial of longer lorries took place on motorways and A-roads.

Lorry trailers up to 61ft (18.55m) long - 6ft 9in (2.05m) longer than the standard size - are now allowed on the roads. Trucks under the new law have a larger tail swing, meaning their rear end takes up more room when turning, and they obviously have extended blind spots.

The policy behind these larger vehicles is economic and is expected to generate £1.4bn in revenue as more goods can be carried by fewer lorries. The Department for Transport says longer lorries can move the same volume of goods as current trailers in 8 per cent fewer journeys.

In environmental terms, one standard-size trailer would be taken off the road for every 12 trips which, the DfT says, makes roads safer.

Roads minister Richard Holden told the press that 'A strong, resilient supply chain is key to the Government's efforts to grow the economy.

'That's why we're introducing longer semi-trailers to carry more goods in fewer journeys and ensure our shops, supermarkets and hospitals are always well stocked.'

If, however, we are speaking purely in financial terms, something that is never included in economic calculations like these is the cost of medical care and rehabilitation to put right the damage done to a pedestrian or a cyclist catastrophically injured in a road collision, not to mention Air Ambulance and emergency services involvement.

Some of our clients seriously brain injured on the roads need immediate interim payments and several years' funding of rehabilitation costs, not to mention their personal economic hardship because they are no longer being able to work.

And that is not even touching on the physical and psychological trauma a serious collision inflicts on  the individual, their family, friends and colleagues. For life.

Read more about cycling accident claims and road traffic accident claims and hear from our clients about their successful rehabilitation.