Hackney LCC and Hackney Living Streets are jointly bringing a deputation to the full council meeting this Wednesday, 25th November, asking for action on the dangers presented by heavy lorries.

The most urgent issue is London mayor Boris Johnson’s recent decision to disband the Met police’s Commercial Vehicles Education Unit — the only organisation in the country that has the power to properly investigate unsafe lorry operators, and bring them up to standards set by Health and Safety law.

We will ask the council to make a formal request to the mayor to restore the unit’s funding. Hackney North MP Diane Abbott has already put down an early day motion in parliament on this issue.

Our deputation will also be asking the local authority to ensure that its own Lorry Safety Working Group meets regularly to investigate how the dangers presented by heavy lorries in the borough can be reduced and eliminated. This working group was convened a year ago, at our request, after five people were killed by lorries in Hackney between 2005 and 2008, but has only ever met twice. In London’s leading cycling borough, we would expect a working group of this nature to be meeting at least quarterly, bringing together interested parties (including freight operators, the Olympic Delivery Authority, police, and user groups), and publishing regular reports on what actions it is taking.

If you are free on Wednesday evening, please come along to the town hall to show your support. The council meeting starts at 7pm, and the deputation will be quite early in the agenda.