Cycling and other forms of active travel are on the increase nationally, but there are growing concerns over the safety of vulnerable road users and the over-representation of large construction vehicles in collisions that have serious and sometimes fatal outcomes.
To address this issue, a variety of stakeholders have collaborated in a construction industry-led initiative – Standard for construction logistics: Managing work-related road risk – designed to reduce the risk of a collision between large goods vehicles in the construction sector and vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians.
|Issue: Cyclists, pedestrians and the large vehicles required for construction projects are sharing the roads more than ever. Where the numbers of people walking and cycling are growing in parallel to higher levels of development and associated construction activity, there is increasing pressure on already constrained road space leading to the potential for conflict.||
Growth in active travel: Cycling is on the increase nationally, but the increase has been particularly notable in London where cycling has almost doubled since 2000. There are now nearly 600,000 cycle trips made each day with numbers rising each year. However, this growth has been coupled with concerns about cycle safety and there have been particular concerns about the over-representation of large goods vehicles in collisions with cyclists and pedestrians that have fatal and serious outcomes. Nationally, large goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes are involved in approximately 15% of cyclist and 10% of pedestrian fatalities.
Addressing the challenge: To address this challenge, a review was undertaken of the construction logistics sector’s transport activities with the aim of understanding the causes of collisions with vulnerable road users and how they may be prevented. The outcome highlighted issues with the way Work Related Road Risk (WRRR) was managed across the industry and raised concern over the limitations of current construction vehicle cab design with regard to minimising blind-spots.
The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) was among a variety of industry stakeholders who contributed to create a common set of Standards for Construction Logistics, including heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), which are intended to improve safety for all road users. Published by Transport for London, the WRRR requirements represent a key step in demonstrating the commitment of construction logistics industry organisations to improving road safety.
Embedding work-related road safety in our culture is critical if we are to develop the skills and capability to manage and embrace population growth and travel demand throughout the UK.
Recommendation: The work to improve standards of construction vehicle design and practice must persist, and continued engagement among Transport for London and construction industry stakeholders will be ongoing to further improve the safety provision for all road users. The Institution of Civil Engineers urge all involved with construction logistics to consider the WRRR requirements, and evaluate their own practice and how the standard promoted could improve their organisation’s performance in this area.