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UK: construction activity and freight safety

World Cement,

UK construction

Construction intelligence firm Barbour ABI has published its latest Economic and Construction Market Review. This reveals that the value of new construction contracts totalled around £5.2 billion in June 2014, a 0.7% m/m decline when compared with May 2014 but a 10.5% y/y increase when compared to June 2013. The residential sector accounted for the highest number of new contracts at approximately 30%. On a regional basis, a large proportion of new contracts occurred in London – 17% of the UK total.

“While this is only the second month this year in which month-on-month values have fallen, we’re still not seeing the same high rates of growth as we did towards the end of 2013. This is an indication that the growth we’ve become used to over the last twelve months is beginning to plateau,” commented Michael Dall, Lead Economist at Barbour ABI.

“Looking ahead, the long-term picture is still one of growth. Year-on-year increases are a positive indication that the industry is continuing to grow, even though this is at a slower rate. We are confident that it is a picture of moderate growth going forward but perhaps not the booming rates that the financial markets seem to be expecting.”

“The government’s updated construction pipeline released on 2 July, which represents £116 billion of work, should also be a huge boost to the industry as infrastructure output has been disappointing up until now,” added Dall.

The report can be found at

Transport and road safety

The UK’s Mineral Products Association (MPA) has taken action on a key recommendation regarding heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) in the House of Commons Transport Committee Cycling Safety report, which has now been published. The recommendation calls on the freight industry to ‘create a culture of safety among HGVs’ and to establish a ‘timetable for the development of an industry-wide code of conduct’.

To encourage HGV road safety, the MPA launched its Vulnerable Road User Safety Policy in 2012. This policy outlines driver training and equipment requirements for HGVs carrying building materials such as cement, concrete, aggregates and asphalt. The MPA also supports the new Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety standard, a Transport for London initiative being introduced throughout the UK to ensure a single vulnerable road user safety standard for the construction sector.

Nigel Jackson, Chief Executive MPA, said “The Select Committee has highlighted a significant safety problem arising from collisions between construction vehicles and cyclists. Very significant action to improve safety for all vulnerable road users, including cyclists, is now being implemented by our industry and also throughout the construction sector across the UK. We know a lot more needs to be done and are determined to help make our roads as safe as possible for all road users,” said Nigel Jackson, Chief Executive of the MPA.

Adapted from press releases by

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