This is bad enough in modern towns and cities, but in a place like Cambridge where large parts were laid out during Medieval times - Medieval town planners being somewhat negligent in not predicting the future development of huge lorries - it's so dangerous as to approach lunacy. With a number of large stores in the City Centre (Sainsbury, Marks and Spencer, Next and the various Bland Arcade "attractions"), there's every chance that the area will become even more dangerous for cyclists than it already is. Add to this the standard of cycling and awareness demonstrated by some cyclists around town and it'll only be a matter of time before the first messy death.
The plan's aim is to reduce the total number of vehicles required to visit a store each week - 2m added to a lorry's total length allows a lot more cargo to be put onboard. That's admirable, because lorries create an enormous amount of pollution - however, big lorries are completely unsuitable for city use for all of the reasons given above. One solution would be the establishment of a system similar to the park and ride buses in which lorries above a certain length (or, ideally, any length) would be required to stop at an out-of-town depot and their cargo be offloaded into smaller electric vans and lorries which could then ferry it to destinations in the city. It'd be expensive to set up but would only need to run between set times covering busy periods - perhaps 8am to 7pm -and once in place costs could be largely offset by charging those companies relying upon the system to pay towards it. You want to trade in our vibrant, profitable city? Well, you'll have to help us keep it a pleasant place. It'd create jobs, too.
|When an articulated lorry negotiates a tight turn, the cab and trailer can swing out into traffic posing a potentially lethal hazard for cyclists.|
|Alternatively, it might clip the corner to avoid swinging out - so you don't want to be down that side either.|
When you're waiting to turn right at a crossroad, a lorry driver behind you who wishes to turn left may try to squeeze past you as the lights change - this is when you need to watch out for the trailer swinging out into your space. Keep right, crossing the central line if there's no oncoming traffic and if safe to do so jump the lights. Just hope there isn't a bored copper lurking a few cars back in the queue!