Responding to the publication of the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) report ‘Construction logistics and cycling safety’ report , the Freight Transport Association (FTA) replied saying that it once again reinforces the need for all road users to work together and share roads safely.
Transport for London (TfL) commissioned the independent report carried out by TRL, to look specifically at how cycling safety is considered within the design and operation of construction vehicles within the construction industry more widely.
Six specific findings from the TRL research related to the safety of vehicles, journeys and drivers in the construction industry, including the visibility around vehicles, and driver mental workload. The report also outlined 12 recommendations, including that road collisions connected to building sites should be reported as if they were workplace accidents, and that contractors set out safe delivery routes which avoid narrow roads, risky junctions and schools.
The report also recommended that ‘a wider review of the blind spots in different construction vehicle types should be conducted;’ stating that "a comprehensive review of vehicles used in the construction industry would greatly improve understanding of the challenges faced by drivers in relation to observing cyclists on the road". It went on to suggest that "less stressful delivery deadlines" were required..
As part of the TfL Technical Advisory Group (contributing to the research of the TRL report) FTA was recognised for its work with its members to understand the risks and causes collisions with cyclists through the FTA Cycling Code, which was established in 2011, and developed in co-operation with the London Cycling Campaign, the Metropolitan Police, the Institute of Advanced Motorists and TfL.
Karen Dee, FTA Director of Policy said:
"This report analyses some important factors and will make a useful contribution to the debate. However, it makes a number of sweeping conclusions based on assumptions and we would question the practicality and appropriateness of some of the recommendations.
"It must be recognised that this report looks only at a small part of what is a complex situation. Conclusions about what these findings mean, and what actions should be taken, cannot be drawn in isolation of the wider picture. We expect the report’s findings to be discussed with stakeholders before any action is taken by TfL to initiate changes to legislation. FTA will continue to engage with TfL and Government but believes that all road users have a role to play in order to truly improve road safety."