Materials firm Tarmac is to trial a new cyclist-friendly concrete mixer as part of efforts to reduce the risk posed by construction vehicles.
The company said the Econic ‘safermixer’ was the first vehicle of its kind on the road in the UK and featured a panoramic windscreen and floor-to-ceiling doors. It said that this allowed drivers to have an improved visibility of cyclists, particularly if they approached the nearside of the vehicle, which it said was a key blind spot in traditional-modelled vehicles.
Seven of the eight cyclist fatalities on London’s roads this year involved collisions with heavy goods vehicles.
Tarmac said the 26t concrete mixer, which has been designed by manufacturer Mercedes-Benz, will be trialled for six weeks at its Silvertown ready mix concrete plant in London and will operate in the same way as other vehicles in the readymix fleet, making up to six trips a day. As the project is in its very early stages it said that there were no further plans for the future of its fleet at this stage.
Tarmac national transport manager Sean McGrae said: “We operate the largest vehicle fleet in the industry, and are committed to improving vulnerable road user safety across the UK. The trial of the Econic mixer is part of our broader approach to road user safety.
“We are pleased to be working with vehicle manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz to trial this revolutionary new safety design. As an industry, it’s important that we continually explore opportunities to drive improvements in this area.”
In addition to a commitment to vehicle safety features, Tarmac said it was providing enhanced training for drivers and supporting its contract hauliers.