One of the Mayor’s objectives is to bring about a significant increase in cycling in
London, with a target that it accounts for at least 5% of modal share by 2026 (Greater
London Authority, 2011). Cycling is seen as a mode of transport to be encouraged within
London because of the health and traffic congestion benefits it brings, and the number of
cyclists in London is increasing. The improvement of cyclist safety is seen as a key
priority for TfL, as concerns about safety are a barrier to increasing cycling levels further.
Detailed analysis of cyclist fatalities has shown that of the 16 in 2011 in London, nine
involved a heavy goods vehicle (HGV), and seven of these were construction vehicles.
Given that the construction industry is responsible for only a small proportion of freight
traffic in GB and London this suggests that construction vehicles may be overrepresented
in cyclist fatalities in London.
TfL commissioned TRL to undertake research aimed at understanding the following general themes around this issue:
1. Is it possible to understand the relative risk represented by construction vehicles to cyclists, when compared with general haulage vehicles? If so, what is it? What are the limitations in the data available?
2. Are there features of contractual arrangements, working practices, driver behaviour, or vehicle design (or combinations of these) that contribute to the apparent over-involvement of construction vehicles in fatal collisions with cyclists in London?
The research also aimed to identify measures that could be implemented to help reduce the number of such collisions.