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Contractors and clients plan to cut HGV risk to cyclists

A construction industry consortium has created a cycle safety standard for heavy goods vehicles, it was revealed this week.

Contractors are writing to clients asking them to help spread compliance with the broadly backed document.

The move – facilitated by Transport for London – comes in a year when nine cyclists have died after being hit by heavy goods vehicles in the capital alone.

Companies involved in creating the new standard include Carillion, Mace, Lafarge Tarmac and Crossrail. Mace chief operating officer for major programmes and infrastructure Jason Millett told NCE: “Utopia is that every client starts [encouraging use of the standard] tomorrow. I do not believe we are asking them to do too much.”

The standard sets out 16 requirements across four topics - operations; vehicles; drivers; and clients.

To conform to the standard, fleet operators must ensure all vehicles weighing more than 3.5t have prominent warning signs; means for audible left-turn announcements; minimised blind spots; and, in certain cases, side guards.

They also need to ensure all drivers have professional training on vulnerable road users, and hold a valid licence for the vehicle they are tasked with driving.

There are further logistical and reporting requirements for fleet firms, as well as a series of duties set out for project clients.

Millett said Mace would be working with its suppliers to encourage their adoption of the standard. He added: “We will also be writing to our clients to ask them to make this standard something they encourage.”

Meanwhile, London mayor Boris Johnson is to publish plans for a Central London Grid next week. This will be a network of fully-segregated main road cycle routes and back-street Quietway cycle routes in Zone 1.

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