The measure, which would see HGVs and construction vehicles banned from the city centre daily from 7-10am and 4-7pm and would be enforced by Congestion Charge cameras, is aimed at improving road safety, particularly for cyclists, and reducing freight traffic on London's roads. Ms Pidgeon also said it would improve air quality.
She commented: ““As Mayor I will ban all heavy freight and construction traffic in central London at peak hours to help reduce congestion and improve safety for cyclists. Banning HGVs during rush hours, when all the figures show they are of most danger to cyclists, would make roads far safer for all.
“To aid deliveries to businesses my strategy would include greater use of the consolidation centres as were used during the 2012 London Olympics, and much more use of the River Thames for transporting freight. We would also encourage the use of greener vehicles and cargo bikes.
“Using my plan we can secure a safer environment for all road users while still allowing freight traffic to access central London at other times of the day.”
In response, the Christopher Snelling, FTA’s head of national and regional policy, said: “Banning lorries at peak times makes no sense. Deliveries still need to be made so a medium-sized HGV would be replaced by 10 vans, with increased emissions, congestion, cost and potential injuries to vulnerable road users.
“Rather than ban lorries from our city centres, we need to focus on all aspects of road use to improve safety and pollution for everyone. HGVs can certainly play their part with cleaner Euro VI engines, revisions to mirrors and sideguards and better cab design.”
Snelling said the FTA urged the Government to offer incentives to enable operators to make the often costly changes to their fleets.
In response to Ms Pidgeon’s calls for edge-of-town ‘delivery hubs’ like those used during the London Olympics, Snelling added: “Again, this will put more vehicles on already busy the roads. Simplistic lorry bans are unlikely to be the best solution in terms of safety and will make it harder to operate the businesses that London relies on every day.”