Starting on Monday, they will be looking for motorists using mobile phones, drivers stopping in the advance “bike boxes” at traffic lights and cyclists riding on the inside of HGVs. The decision was taken at a meeting between the Met and City Hall last night, hours after charity volunteer Richard Muzira became the sixth cyclist to die on the capital’s roads in less than two weeks.
Under pressure to act, the Mayor said he would also push for a ban on the “scourge” of cyclists wearing headphones.
City Hall had previously insisted they would not be rushed into action and real improvements in cycle safety would be delivered with a £35 million scheme for segregated lanes to be built next year.
But the Mayor’s cycling commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, admitted the move was essential to reassure cyclists and save further loss of life. He said: “This is a new zero-tolerance approach with a police officer on every main road in central London from Monday which is a huge escalation to the checks we are doing already.
“They will be stopping lorries and cars and where there is unsafe driving they will be taken off the road. We will also target unsafe cyclists. It is a short-term measure but the Mayor and the police feel we must act as a result of the recent spate of appalling accidents.”
Chief Superintendent Glyn Jones, head of the Met’s Traffic Command, said: “This is a police response to save lives and save injury.
- Boris Johnson’s credibility with London cyclists is slipping away (theguardian.com)
- Boris Johnson: ‘Ban cyclists from wearing headphones’ (independent.co.uk)
- HGV drivers caught in bike safety operation (standard.co.uk)
- Sixth cyclist killed in two weeks (bbc.co.uk)