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Boris launches plan to cut HGV cycling deaths

Boris Johnson has launched a new construction standard, drawn up with the industry, to tackle the number of fatal cycling accidents involving HGVs.

The industry-led standard is aimed at ensuring safety considerations extend to every part of the construction process.

It covers issues including advance planning, managing the logistics of deliveries, safety equipment for vehicles, training and traffic control around sites.

The mayor of London said: “The role of lorries in cycling accidents is well known now – roughly half of all fatalities involve HGVs, though they are only 4 per cent of the traffic.”

UKCG director Stephen Ratcliffe said: “UKCG members take issues around road and cycle safety very seriously, and support the publication of today’s standard in providing a common industry framework all can use.”

Transport for London also announced plans to trial a new construction lorry, featuring a cab with larger front and side windows for improved driver visibility.

The Laing O’Rourke vehicle will transport commercial waste from the Crossrail project. TfL will also help the industry to identify other vehicle models with high-visibility cabs and press manufacturers to adopt these designs in the future.

London transport commissioner Sir Peter Hendy said: “The hard work and determination of the construction industry to raise standards across the board is both admirable and to be applauded.

“London is leading the UK in targeting unsafe freight vehicles and, working with the industry, we will continue to drive out poor and dangerous behaviour, and improve standards, to make our roads safer for all road users.”

Mace chief operating officer for major programmes and infrastructure Jason Millett spoke at the event about how the company has been working with its supply chain and clients to drive improvements in cycle safety.

He said: “This is a personal issue for us, having lost a colleague in a cycle accident in 2011, and we welcome the opportunity to contribute to a national standard for construction logistics.”

Lafarge Tarmac senior national transport manager Sean McGrae said: “We welcome the launch of a new Standard for Construction Logistics.

“It is now vitally important that this standard is adopted on a national scale.

“While there is political will behind the introduction of a standard in London, we must not forget that work-related road risk poses as much an issue outside of the capital.”

The mayor was speaking at a construction logistics and cycle safety event at City Hall yesterday.

Other measures he announced included a central London grid, a network of fully segregated cycle routes, and the upgrade of 33 major road junctions in the capital to make them safer for cyclists.

The announcements were the latest in a number of steps taken this year to improve the safety of London’s roads.

In June, TfL launched a Safe Streets for London plan, which detailed how it would reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads by 40 per cent by 2020.

In September, TfL and the Department for Transport launched an Industrial HGV Task Force to take action against dangerous HGV drivers, vehicles and operators.

Since then, more than 800 vehicles have been stopped and checked. More than 250 fixed penalty notices have been issued for offences including mobile phone use, driving licence offences and unsecure loads.

In the new year, the mayor will begin a consultation on a safer lorry scheme, targeting HGVs not fitted with basic safety equipment.

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