The London Cycling Campaign in Hackney and Hackney Living Streets came to the Full Council meeting at Hackney Town Hall last week to ask for urgent action following the Mayor of London’s decision to cut funding for the Commercial Vehicles Education Unit.
The unit played a vital role in helping to reduce collisions between large vehicles and cyclists or pedestrians. It also had the power to investigate unsafe lorry operators and make sure they were meeting health and safety standards. As a result of Boris Johnson’s funding cuts, the unit will be disbanded.
Cllr Alan Laing, Cabinet member for Neighbourhoods, responded to the deputation, stressed that Hackney Council has already called on Boris Johnson to reinstate funding for the unit, He said: “This is another cut by the London Mayor. Despite this we continue to work with the police and cyclists to reduce the number of cyclists being injured on our roads. We have a number of initiatives in place including education events along the A10, improving signage on the Council's own lorries and continuing to improve our road surfaces.”
The campaigners also secured a commitment that the Lorry Safety Working Group which brings together user groups, the Police, freight operators and the Olympic Delivery Authority, will meet quarterly and work throughout the year to tackle the hazards and threats associated with lorries.