“Cyclists stay back stickers”: Something you can do

You might think that a grown human being shouldn’t have to do this – and you would be right, in my opinion. However, since there has been a lot of interest in this issue, we have a duty to follow through. (And anyway life is often about doing things you shouldn’t have to do).

So here goes: We are showing how you can play a part in the removal of stickers that are on the wrong vehicles (or wrongly worded stickers on vehicles for which they were intended) belonging to members of Transport for London’s Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS).

And it should indicate to TfL that we can cooperate with it.

ClearChannelLondonBuses012015Intelligent van

Vans – which were never intended to have these stickers on them – belonging to FORS members

So, firstly, do read the post here and the follow up UPDATE: “Cyclists stay back” stickers and HGV safety in London to remind yourself what the fuss is about (the detailed history of this episode is in posts referred to in those).

Now you’re up to speed, we remind you that we thought that FORS could have a web site available to refer non-FORS members to explain why it has changed the wording of stickers, and why stickers should not be on vehicles with good driver visibility (cars, minibuses, vans etc.).

FORS (or to be more precise, the organisation running FORS for TfL) don’t think they can do this. They have told us:

Stickers are issued to FORS operators and advice on how to display them is provided in the FORS Standard, through our FORS eNewsletters and on the back of the stickers themselves. Since taking on the concession we simply issue the new blind spot warning signage on behalf of TfL.

That’s a shame – hopefully TfL will try to be more forceful in getting the types of misuse we have referred to changed. We also think it should be able to influence non-FORS members – it wouldn’t take too much effort, and could be part of a campaign of recruitment for FORS

Instead, they’ve asked people to report sticker misuse to them:


Anyone who wishes to report the misuse of FORS stickers can do so via the FORS Helpline 08448 09 09 44 or enquiries@fors-online.org.uk. You do not have to be a FORS registered or accredited company to do this.

So this is how you can work with TfL to cut the abuse of stickers. Please remember the following:

  1. The vehicle has to belong to a FORS member. This is indicated by a FORS sticker, or else you can find out if the vehicle belongs to a FORS member here: http://www.fors-online.org.uk/memberslist.php There is no point in complaining otherwise.
  2. Stickers with any type of wording should NOT be on vehicles (belonging to the FORS member) other than the two heavier classes of HGV. They should NOT be on small, low cab lorries, minibuses, taxis, vans or cars. They were never intended for these types of vehicle.
  3. Buses are in the process of having their stickers changed – I would suggest not bothering about this. All bus stickers should have the “Caution: Bus pulls in frequently” wording by May 2015.
  4. Lorries should have the “Blind spot – take care” wording, and only on the rear near side – again, you might want to give operators time to change over to the new stickers.
  5. We raised the issue of “Cyclists stay back” stickers still being on Incident Response and other vehicles belonging to or working with London Underground and London Buses such as :    IMAG0129

   And  3.15.06012015OldDoverRdSE3LBuses


FORS said:

“Any issues with London Buses, London Underground and any other parts of TfL should be directed to TfL.”

(We will try and get you a contact.)

Our suggestion is that there is enough to do for now under Number 2 above. Use a photo, date and location and the contact e-mail or phone number, and keep a record of what happens.

So, if you’re unhappy with stickers on the wrong kind of vehicle (albeit just on those of FORS members) here is something you can do about it.


Dr Robert Davis, Chai Road Danger Reduction Forum, March 5th 2015


10 thoughts on ““Cyclists stay back stickers”: Something you can do

  1. cychlopath

    Are you not tempted, when you see a bus with a sticker that says “caution: bus pulls in frequently” to exclaim “if only there was a way I could tell when! if only there was a way you indicate! If only there was a way! I wonder what could such a method of informing other road users be!”

    Do you not wonder if those lorries with signs that say “Caution: Blind spot”, have similar signs in the drivers cabs just in the eyeline of the driver that say “Caution: you have a blind spot.” Or might that be interpreted to impugn their driving?

    Could FORS encourage better driving in any of these ways? Could they? Could they? Could they?

    1. rdrf Post author

      cychlopath: To be fair to TfL, there has been quite a lot of HGV driver training in the form of CPC modules that train HGV drivers on this issue (the best including on-bike training). Before that there was a lot of info. going out to operators and drivers. Messaging has gone out to this community. Also, the wording has changed on both bus and HGV stickers. Bus drivers is another issue.

      there are issues here, but for the time being our focus is on stickers on vans/cars/ minibuses and taxis, where they should never have been in the first place. That seems to be a matter of concern on twitter, even more so as it has spread outside London.

  2. Mick Farrant vereran cyclist of c 40 years in London

    A major and growing problem in parts of Camden is the increasing numbers of building sites, These attract large numbers of HGVs. Some of these (mainly scaffold lorries) do not have side bars – there seems to be a semantic problem between bars (protecting cyclists from being dragged under and side guards stopping goods falling off) There is supposed to be a Traffic Management Plan (drawn up on the basis of local consultation) as part of the Construction Management Plan which is part of the S 106 (planning Consent) agreement. This is supposedly overseen and monitored by LBC. The TMP would also include conditions about lorry movements at such times as school ingoings and outgoings,

    I have been trying unsuccessfully for over 6 months to get LBC to get a TMP for Queens Crescent from Telford Homes – developing a site in the area. I even wrote a draft for LB to pass on to Telford. As construction HGVs appear to be the main slaughterers of cyclists there needs to be local campaigns with councillors to get this issue addressed

    1. rdrf Post author

      Interesting that you’re talking about ANOTHER type of construction vehicle Mick. I know that side bar exemptions have to be applied for, unlike the situation a few years ago. I would suggest also working with Camden Cycling Campaign

  3. Bill G

    Camden Cycling Campaign are very good, with the sole exception of any criticism of the light segregation on Royal College Street. I am sure that they can give you good advice and a contact name at LB Camden.

    1. rdrf Post author

      Excellent point. My understanding was that they would be removed – but to be honest can’t remember precise details of FORS commitment last year. There may be some very large industrial vehicles (cranes etc.) where they have to be there on site, but on vans, small lorries etc. I don’t think they are justified. I suggest photos with operator details/time/place are supplied with complaint or at least query to FORS (remember, has to be FORS member operator).

  4. Nick M

    Has anyone received a reply from FORS after reporting the misuse of the signage? I sent my first report a week ago, and apart from an automated e-mail promising a response within 5 business days, I have heard nothing.

    1. Mick Farrant

      A further approach is to ensure that local building sites have traffic management plans – this is (for largish sites) a S 106 requirement which Councils are supposed to enforce. Also construction firms are supposed to consult local people in drawing up TMPS. It took me best part of six months to get LBC to get a site to have a TMP and they are now enforcing it (hopefully).The TMP can specify such things as all deliveries will have side bars, FORS qualified drivers, presence of banksmen and not operate at certain times such as school arrival and departure times. Admittedly this does not stop rogue drivers in town but it does encourage firms to take responsibility. For example if a lorry was on its way to a particular site and did not have say siderbars this could be reported to the relevant council.I regular;ly send pics to LBCof violations.

      Mick Farrant – veteran cyclist


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