Slowing down site deliveries could save cyclists’ lives

Grant Prior 11 years ago
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Clients and contractors are being urged to set more “realistic” site delivery times for materials to make London’s roads safer for cyclists.

The call follows research commissioned by Transport for London into construction logistics and cyclist safety following a spate of deaths and accidents.

TfL also wants to see construction lorries fitted as standard with cycle-specific safety equipment like side bars and blind-spot mirrors.

And the report calls for the levels of safety management that the construction industry provides on sites to be extended to all vehicle movements related to a construction project, whether these movements are on or off site.

The recommendations include:

  • The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) should look at extending regulations that govern the reporting of on road collisions. That could help bring greater responsibility on contractors to monitor and, where necessary, improve driver behaviour.
  • Vehicle manufacturers should carry out more research into the blind spots of construction vehicles. Research in the report shows that certain models of cement mixers can have a blind spot which is up to 50% larger than that of a 7.5 tonne “curtain-sided” delivery lorry.
  • Contractors and their clients should look into setting more realistic time slots for deliveries. That could help reduce pressure on drivers facing challenging delivery deadlines and help reduce the risk of driver errors.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “There is a clear and urgent need to address the spate of serious incidents we have seen involving construction vehicles and cyclists over recent years.

“That is why my team commissioned the first ever independent review of the relationship between construction vehicles and cyclist safety.

“The report contains some hugely important findings and our task now is to press the construction industry, safety regulators, highway authorities and politicians to make it a priority to take forward the recommendations made in this report.”

London’s Transport Commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy CBE said: “It is clear there is a responsibility for all parties, including cyclists, the construction and haulage industries, safety regulators, highway authorities and ourselves, to take steps to improve the safety of cyclists and ensure that as many of the recommendations detailed in this report are delivered.

“By working closely together with stakeholders, we can build on the changes we have already delivered and ensure further vital safety improvements for cyclists and other vulnerable road users.”

Nigel Jackson, Chief Executive, Mineral Products Association (MPA) said: “Vulnerable road user safety is a priority for MPA companies and we have introduced policy to accelerate further driver training and the fitting of additional safety equipment.

“We will continue to work closely with TfL, Government, cycling organisations and colleagues in the construction industry to help ensure road safety is improved”

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