New, safer designs for a range of construction vehicles are today on show at a major event as part of the freight industry’s efforts to improve road safety and better protect cyclists and pedestrians.
More than a dozen HGV’s are on display at the Construction Logistics and Cycle Safety (CLOCS) event at ExCel, which is being supported by Transport for London (TfL). The event will see manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, DAF Trucks, Scania, Volvo and MAN showcasing new vehicles that reduce deadly blind-spots.
London currently sees 23 per cent of the country’s construction output and as construction levels rise an increased focus is being placed on making industry vehicles safer. Between 2008 and 2013, 55 per cent of cyclist fatalities in the Capital involved a HGV, a disproportionate number of which were construction vehicles.
CLOCS, which is supported and part-funded by TfL, has seen progress in improving freight safety with the design of safer urban construction vehicles, reducing deadly blind-spots and improving drivers’ direct vision giving maximum visibility of vulnerable road users. The vehicles exhibited this week will be trialled and evaluated by operators and the manufacturers in the coming months. This clearly demonstrates the rapid achievements of CLOCS and TfL and the industry’s desire to tackle this issue.
TfL is working hard to improve freight and fleet road safety both in London, as well as setting an example for other highways authorities across the UK. The Mayor and TfL recently announced that the UK’s first Safer Lorry Scheme will begin operation in September and will see lorries without safety equipment to protect cyclists and pedestrians banned from the Capital. The Mayor, TfL and Transport & Environment have also successfully lobbied the European Union on the issue of safer HGV designs. As a result, Members of the European Parliament recently voted to allow longer vehicles across the continent paving the way for lower driving cabs and improved direct vision of the driver.
London’s Transport Commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy CBE, said: “Every death and injury on our roads is a tragedy and ruins lives. At TfL we are reducing these wherever possible, and are proud to be a supporter and funder of CLOCS, which has been making great progress to make all road users safer.
“The new vehicles on show today, with massively reduced blind-spots, show what can be done if people join together for a common good to solve a simple problem. We will continue our work to improve freight road safety in all aspects, be it collaboration, regulation, enforcement and lobbying, to create a Capital fit for freight, and freight fit for the Capital.”
CLOCS was created in February 2013 following a TfL commissioned review into the causes of, and the prevention of, collisions between cyclists and the construction sector’s transport.
More than 80 organisations from across the industry are members of the programme, demonstrating a clear drive for improved road safety. In the first two years of CLOCS, breakthroughs have been made on lorry design and a common national standard for Construction Logistics has been created and implemented nationally. CLOCS has demonstrated how ownership, commitment and ambition throughout construction supply chains can improve the safety of all road users.
For more information about the wide range of work that TfL is carrying out to improve road safety in the freight industry, please visit www.tfl.gov.uk/freight