Dear Mr Wheeldon
I am responding to your letter which appeared in the Wakefield Express just before the Christmas break.
Thank you for your kind offer of a day out in your goods vehicle. I would like to make a counter offer – I will gladly join you for a half hour drive if you come with me for a half hour bicycle ride?
I want to assure you that the voluntary code Labour has published is in no way intended to lay blame on lorry drivers such as yourself. The purpose of the code is to reduce the number of cycling deaths on our roads by encouraging haulage firms to install safety equipment which could help both drivers and cyclists.
I agree there are many ways of making our roads safer and as I politician I promote responsible cycling. As a cyclist I always wear a high visibility jacket and ride with all due care and attention.
You are right that risk can be minimised if lorry drivers and cyclists alike are aware of each other and behave responsibly.
However, it is an unfortunate truth that large vehicles like lorries are disproportionately involved in cycling fatalities and it is the job of politicians, cyclists, haulage firms and other roads users to address that problem. Improved cyclist education, better cycling infrastructure and better road design all have a part to play.
As part of this wider programme the installation of improved safety equipment on large vehicle would reduce the risk of a collision and could save the life of a cyclist if a collision does occur.
Thank you again for the offer and I hope this letter has been helpful in understanding why I am promoting improved safety equipment for lorries.
Labour Member of
Parliament for Wakefield
- Editor’s Note: We’ll keep in touch with the lorry/bike challenge and bring you any updates in the coming weeks.