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Is banning lorries in London the right approach?

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With the amount of accidents on London’s roads rising, plans to ban HGV’s in  peak times have been widely backed by many people including the London Mayor Boris Johnson and Liberal Democrat Caroline Pidgeon.

However, have they really taken into account how much of an effect this may have on freight deliveries in and around London and how vital these trucks really are for everyday life? The FTA has announced that more than 360,000 tonnes of goods are delivered to London by lorry every day, that’s 250 tonnes a minute. They also note that it takes some 400 vans a day just to deliver the amount of toilet roll used by Londoners and 24 articulated lorries to deliver the amount of baked beans consumed daily, just a couple of examples of how much we rely on these vehicles without even realising it.

There is no denying it; London has a problem when it comes to road accidents with over 30,700 injuries being reported in 2014, up from 27,199 in 2013. However are the government looking at banning the wrong people from using these roads? There are countless amounts of ways that the public can travel around London, whether it is by tube, bus, bike, over ground or boat they are all as effective as the other and can sometimes be a lot quicker and cheaper than driving. So due to there being so many more modes of transport for the public than there is for freight transport what reason do the government have for banning HGV’s and not cars?

Banning cars on London’s roads is obviously a drastic idea but just imagine how much congestion would drop by, it would be safer for cyclists and pedestrians as there will be more space on the roads to cycle, pollution and smog would reduce considerably and there would be no problems with deliveries turning up late due to truck drivers actually being able to access their drop off points efficiently. Former Camden councillor Paul Braithwaite ‏said: “If Milan and Rome can BAN cars because of pollution, so could London.”

Cars have been banished from the streets of Milan completely during certain hours, whilst in Rome every second vehicle has been forced off the road. Could London follow and should London follow?

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