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Positive plans for cyclists as Government considers banning HGVs from city centres

Very good news from Boris Johnson yesterday as he announced his 'Gear Change' strategy to 'unleash a nation of cyclists'. Part to combat obesity, part a move towards cleaner air, in whatever guise, the plans should make the roads safer as more cyclists take to the streets, following the £2 billion promised in May to encourage cycling and walking. Mr Johnson recently admitted he personally needs to lose weight.

As part of the strategy to create hundreds of miles of dedicated bike lanes, increase cycle lessons and improve access to cut-price electric bikes, the transport department signalled a significant shift in road space from vehicles to cyclists by proposing restrictions on delivery vans and targeting unnecessary journeys such as people driving their children to school.

The proposed introduction of 'freight consolidation schemes' would mean deliveries are made to out-of-town depots and then goods transported onwards by fewer and more environmentally friendly vehicles. Pilot schemes are being proposed in older cities with 'narrow and crowded streets'.

Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman, the cycling and walking commissioner for Greater Manchester, described the plans as the 'biggest step forward I've seen in my lifetime' to encourage people to travel by bike.

Not least because my team regularly witnesses the devastation to cyclists injured on London roads, often by HGVs who fail to see them, in an interview with forensic investigator Mark Crouch, we put out a call last month for the Government to consider banning HGVs travelling through London as people return to work.

This was widely reported in the press and we will continue to lobby the relevant bodies to instigate vital change to reduce the number of road traffic collisions involving cyclists.

Contact Jill Greenfield by calling 020 7861 4557 or email jill.greenfield@fieldfisher.com.

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