Daniel Cox's memorial bike at Dalston Junction. Photo: Tim Sullivan

Daniel Cox's memorial bike at Dalston Junction. Photo: Tim Sullivan

A number of recent accidents involving cyclists in Hackney has increased politicians’ concerns over safety on the roads for those who get around by bike.

According to the latest Transport for London (TfL) figures from December 2010, 5% of all journeys which start in Hackney are made by bicycle. Furthermore, 13% of Hackney residents’ journeys to work are made by bicycle.

Between 2000 and 2008, over 3,600 cyclists in London have been either killed or seriously injured, many involving heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). At particular risk are cyclists who ride on the left side of lorries, where they are often out of view.

Given the recent increase in cyclists on London’s streets, including some new to navigating the roads on two wheels, many feel that measures to train and check lorries ought to be improved.

The European Parliament is currently considering a declaration on HGV safety which has been signed by all of London’s MEPs. The declaration proposes that new trucks should be fitted with the latest blind spot equipment.

Jean Lambert, Green Party MEP for London said, “Road safety is an issue I take very seriously. I live in a busy capital city where pedestrians and cyclists have to battle with cars and lorries for space. It’s a battle that sometimes ends in fatalities.

“One cause of such deaths is the blind spots on heavy goods vehicles, indeed around 400 of the most vulnerable road-users are killed every year across Europe as a result.

“In this day and age of innovation and increasingly cheaper technology, such as advanced emergency breaking systems and camera-monitor devises, these tragic deaths can and should be avoided.

“This declaration sends a strong message to Council, Commission and member states that they must act without further delay to enforce legal requirements that could drastically cut these worrying figures, but campaigns to encourage safer driving will also be key in addressing this problem. I was proud to sign the declaration and I actively encourage my fellow Green MEPs to do the same.”

Hackney Council hosts a local HGV safety group which looks into measures to increase cyclist and pedestrian safety around HGVs. The group brings together council officers from road safety, travel awareness and fleet management, along with the Metropolitan Police force and local cyclists from the Hackney branch of the London Cycling Campaign.

The council also runs ‘Exchanging Places’ events, where cyclists get to experience the view from a lorry cab to help them understand about blind spots, and to get across the message to that they should avoid riding up the left-hand side of lorries that may be turning left.

Related: Critical mass needed to curb cyclist HGV deaths