The Independent London Newspaper

 

Our narrow streets are no place for hazardous lorries

Published: 22 February, 2013

• THANK you to Susan Lowenthal for highlighting our crazy freight delivery systems that permit – and sometimes even encourage – massive vehicles to bounce along our narrow streets at all hours (Blame air pollution on cars, not on our sizzling sausages, February 15).

She rightly points out that we should be looking at alternative modes of transport and/or transferring to smaller vehicles for the final leg of long journeys that terminate in the city.

Most of us are well aware of the dangers posed by these large vehicles, but sometimes they can be even more hazardous when they are parked, because they create obstructions and blind spots at inappropriate places.

On many occasions I have witnessed massive McDonald’s lorries blocking the road at Highbury Corner while struggling to squeeze into loading bays. This causes havoc for buses and dangerous risks for everybody else.

Even with its engine switched off a lorry can generate indirect pollution, simply because it can force dozens of other engines to idle in an avoidable queue.

In a better world, the large lorries would go no further than the North Circular and their contents would be transferred to small electric vehicles that are far better suited to our narrow streets and limited parking spaces.

Unfortunately, we are in a misguided world where “double handling” is seen as a transportation failure rather than an opportunity, and citizens’ health and safety are perceived as unimportant compared to “opening up” the country for business.

If the government is unwilling to help to make the streets more pleasant then perhaps we should be lobbying family-friendly companies like McDonald’s to take the lead and change their practices.

Ian Shacklock
Endangered pedestrian/cyclist
Monsell Road, N4

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