Government officials have been asked to look into the feasibilty of banning trucks from city centres during the rush hour by the prime minister.
The bombshell emerged after David Cameron met the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group earlier this week to discuss ways of making the roads safer for cyclists.
As a result, the prime minister agreed to ask the transport secretary to look further at various measures, including road and junction improvements, staggered light phasing at junctions and design improvements for construction trade vehicles.
After the meeting with MPs, David Cameron is also understood to have asked officials at the Department for Transport (DfT) to see if a lorry ban should also be considered.
The claim that a ban on HGVs entering city centres during peak times was being considered was described as “politically attractive” but “unfeasible” by the FTA.
Chris Snelling, FTA head of urban logistics policy, told Commercialmotor.com: “It’s not as concrete as that. They [MPs] have had a meeting with the prime minister and he says all sorts of things are on the table, which will be referred to the transport secretary to discuss further.
“We have also written to the prime minister on the issue, which has been acknowledged, and we will also take that up with the transport secretary. We are fairly confident about improving safety without affecting efficiency.”
Snelling said the FTA was opposed to a peak time ban mainly because of “the questionable safety impact”:
“If you ban by weight you would have to let through far more vehicles. We would also make the point, we are not choosing to deliver at peak times on a whim.
He said: “Looking at safety in total, cyclists peak during rush hour, but then pedestrians peak after that. There are lots of different aspects to consider.”
Snelling added that in the last 12 years the numbers of HGVs involved in fatalities had halved.
While London will introduce its Safer Lorry Scheme this September, which will see sideguards mandated on all vehicles even construction ones, the DfT has been dragging its heels on its long promised review of national HGV safety standards.
It said in March that a consultation would be launched shortly, after being criticised for the delay, but has failed to supply an update since despite several calls by Commercialmotor.com.