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UK industry promotes cyclist safety

World Cement,

The number of cyclists is growing, particularly in urban areas, increasing the risks of collisions between cyclists and motor vehicles, including lorries. On 15 June the Mineral Products Association (MPA), the trade association for the mineral products industry, launched its Cycle Safe campaign to prevent collisions between cyclists and Large Goods vehicles (LGVs) at the Metropolitan Police’s ‘Exchanging Places’ event at Wellington Arch, Hyde Park Corner, London.  Transport for London (TfL) statistics show that last year 10 cyclists were killed on the capital's roads and 13 in 2009.

Nigel Jackson, Chief Executive MPA, said: “The health and safety of all those who come into contact with our sector is critical to us and we think it’s the responsible thing to do to try and go for a preventative strategy to avoid any accidents between cyclists and LGVs.

“As an industry that operates some 20 000 lorries, MPA members want to be at the forefront of helping to improve road safety and our 6 Point Action Plan looks at how this can be achieved from driver training, to raising awareness, sharing experience and examining technological features for LGVs. To date, at least 27 500 industry drivers have had cyclist awareness training as part of the Driverskills scheme required by MPA policy.”

MPA’s 6 Point Action Plan for Cycle Safe is highlighted below:

  1. Promote driver and industry awareness
  2. Promote cyclist and public awareness
  3. Improve driver training
  4. Encourage members to use appropriate technological adaptations to minimise risks to cyclists and exchange experience
  5. Liaise with schools
  6. Work in partnership

At Wellington Arch, MPA members: Day Aggregates, Brett Group, London Concrete and CEMEX, provided four vehicles to support the Metropolitan Police’s ‘Exchanging Places’ event and the launch of Cycle Safe. Cyclists were given the opportunity to get into an LGV to see what visibility is like from inside the driver’s cab and MPA also distributed free high visibility vests and safety leaflets.

The launch was co-hosted by Nigel Jackson and Chief Inspector Ian Vincent, Metropolitan Police.  Charlie Lloyd, Campaigns Officer, from the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) also supported the event, as well as Stephen Steele, Freight and Fleet Programme Manager from TfL’s Freight Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) and Jenny Jones, AM.

Jenny Jones, Green Party Member of the London Assembly and candidate for Mayor of London, said: "As somebody who's elected here in London, it's incredibly important for me that London is a safe city to cycle in and I think this is where the MPA campaign can have the most impact. The number of our cyclists is increasing every day so making them safe is crucial for keeping London running."

Meanwhile, Cemex UK has shown its support for cyclist safety during 2011 Bike Week.

During the Team Green Britain Bike Week  18 – 26th June, Cemex UK will be supporting five local cycling events to help educate cyclists about safe cycling around large vehicles.

At  bike events in Gateshead, Portsmouth, Newcastle, Brighton and London, Cemex will be providing one of its fleet of LGVs (large goods vehicle) - a concrete mixer , cement tanker or aggregates tipper - to demonstrate the ‘blind’ areas around large vehicles and encourage cyclists to get into the cab to see the road from a driver’s perspective.

It is estimated that 39% of cycling fatalities nationwide involve LGVs against a background of an increasing number of cyclists on more congested roads.

Since 2003, CEMEX has been actively involved in addressing the safety of cyclists and other vulnerable road users and today is seen as a leader in its sector for addressing cyclist safety.  

Additional safety features have been added to over 450 vehicles in the Cemex fleet and up to 2500 independent haulier contractors vehicles employed by Cemex each month.  

To help improve visibility in the ‘blind spot’ around the front and nearside corner, a ‘fish eye’ mirror has been fitted. They have become a legal requirement on all new vehicles registered since 2007.  Cemex has ensured that these features have been retrofitted to all vehicles over 3 years old.

Another important addition is signage.  There are two, one on the nearside back corner to discourage cyclists from proceeding up the left hand side of the vehicle and, to complement it, a large yellow ‘Caution’ sign running along the side.

Other innovations that are added when appropriate include proximity sensors and side under-run bars on tipper trucks have been added as extra protection to prevent cyclists falling under the vehicle.

“Both drivers and cyclists have a responsibility for their own, and each other’s safety. Cemex has invested in additional safety features for its vehicles and continuous training for its team of drivers, however we also feel we have an obligation to help promote safe cycling to cyclists,” comments Andy Taylor, UK Director Health and Safety.

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