A proposed scheme aiming to make London's roads safer for cyclists could lead to thousands of lorries being banned from the capital.

Under plans announced by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) would be rated from zero to five stars based on the level of vision the driver has from the cab.

It is estimated that 35,000 HGVs currently operating in the capital would be given zero stars - and these could be banned by January 2020 if Mr Khan's proposals are implemented.

Only lorries with a rating of at least three stars would be allowed on London's roads by 2024.

Mr Khan said "bold action" was needed to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians.

According to Transport for London (TfL), nine cyclists and 66 pedestrians were killed in the capital last year.

The Mayor's office said that over the past two years HGVs have been involved in 23 per cent of pedestrian fatalities and 58 per cent of cyclist deaths in London, despite accounting for just four per cent of the miles driven in the city.

Mr Khan said the scheme is the first of its kind in the world and would result in many lorries being upgraded before the ban comes into place.

He said: "I'm not prepared to stand by and let dangerous lorries continue to cause further heartbreak and tragedy on London's roads.

"The evidence is clear - HGVs have been directly involved in over half of cycling fatalities over the last two years, and we must take bold action to make our roads safer for both cyclists and pedestrians.

"I'm determined to ensure the most dangerous zero star-rated lorries are removed from our roads completely by 2020."

TfL and the wider Greater London Authority will "lead by example" and ensure all HGVs used in their supply chains have good all-round visibility from the driver's cab.

Unsurprisingly, the proposals have had a mixed reaction from lorry and cycling groups.

The Road Haulage Association chief executive Richard Burnett said the "imposition of unnecessary rules on haulage firms is unfair".

He said: "Demonising lorries, which keep the economy and shops going, is unfair.

"Lorries, including construction vehicles, play a vital part in the economic life of London. Without them the capital's businesses would grind to a standstill.

"We want to bring balance to the argument. We're not convinced these measures are the solution. Improved visibility isn't going to sort the problem alone."

The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) described a TfL statistic that 18 per cent of the lorries on London streets are zero star-rated as "grim".

The organisation welcomed the steps to cut the number of unsafe lorries on the road.

LCC senior policy and development officer Tom Bogdanowicz said: "Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers and operators of HGVs all stand to gain if modern designs with minimal blind spots become the norm for on-street use - no-one wants fatalities and life-changing injuries to continue to happen."