Comment: To reduce road deaths, transfer more freight to the railways

 

Supporting rail freight is a great way for the Government to reduce road deaths as HGVs are disproportionally involved in fatal road crashes because of their size and scale.

The latest Government figures show that HGVs are almost six times more likely than cars to be involved in fatal collisions on minor roads.

These figures have been consistent: in the previous two years, HGVs were more than six times more likely to be involved in fatal accidents on minor roads.

In 2014, on motorways, HGVs were involved in almost half (45%) of fatal collisions, although they only accounted for 11.6% of the miles driven on them. Between 2010 and 2014, lorries were almost 10 times more likely than cars to be involved in a fatal collision in London.

Another contributing problem is the lack of compliance with existing road safety regulations, which puts other road users at extra risk. HGVs driven by UK drivers had a 59% overloading rate in roadside checks in 2013 and 2014.

In 2015, the Government increased the HGV speed limits on dual carriageways and single carriageway roads on the basis that it was commonly broken; 82% of HGVs were exceeding the 50 mph limit and 73% exceeded their 40 mph limit. This seemed to us the wrong justification for increasing speed limits, as speed and greater kinetic energy worsen collision outcomes.

Furthermore, we remain very concerned about the safety of the 7ft longer semi-trailers, under Department for Transport (DfT) Trials, on many urban roads. While longer semi-trailers are acceptable on the strategic road network, they are totally unsuitable for many of the capital’s urban roads, which they will need to use to access depots.

The longer semi-trailer rear tail-swing on normal left and right hand turns is almost double (up from 1.7m to 3.3m) that of existing standard length 44 tonne HGVs, making them dangerous on minor roads for other vulnerable road users, especially pedestrians and cyclists. Even Risk Solutions, which is carrying out the trial evaluation for the DfT, states that it cannot judge the safety of LST’s on urban roads.

Rail has an expanding share of the long distance trunk consumer traffic, which carries freight in a safer greener way than HGVs. However, there is suppressed demand for these rail services because of lack of capacity on the rail network, with each train slot coming free being used immediately.

Therefore the Government should continue to fund the Strategic Rail Freight network as a priority to improve road safety, reduce congestion, road damage and pollution.

”Local

This graph shows HGV involvement rate in fatal crashes on different road types, based on the percentage of miles they represent, has increased as cars become safer.

DfT research states that, because of their size and weight, when they are involved in accidents the level of injury tends to be higher but we believe that it is ignoring its own statements and figures which show the scale of danger that HGVs pose.

Philippa Edmunds is Freight on Rail Manager at Campaign for Better Transport

This is the second of a series of articles to mark Road Safety Week.

 

Also see

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Senior Engineer (Development Control)

Wrexham County Borough Council
£36,876 - £39,782 per annum
We are looking to appoint a suitably experienced and qualified candidate to work within the Contracts and Engineering team Wrexham (Wrecsam)
Recuriter: Wrexham County Borough Council

Strategic Director Growth and Regeneration

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£119,940 to £131,935
A decade of investment invites the opportunity of a decade! Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Strategic Director Environment and Climate Change

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£119,940 to £131,935
A decade of investment invites the opportunity of a decade! Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Funeral Operative (As and When)

Brent Council
£24,462 - £26,274 p.a. inc. (pro-rata)
The person will not need previous experience in funeral services as full training will be given but experience would be an advantage. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Senior Engineer – Transport Policy

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£38,800 - £52,600
This is an exciting opportunity to improve road safety and create healthy streets in a busy and dynamic central London borough. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Environmental Health Officer / Health and Safety Practitioner

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£33,600 - £45,400 per annum plus performance related pay
The ideal candidate will have a detailed knowledge/understanding of Health and Safety legislation.  Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Head of Operations

Rossendale Borough Council
£49,408 - £52,899
The Head of Operations is a key leader in the Senior Management Team. Rossendale, Lancashire
Recuriter: Rossendale Borough Council

Commercial Officer

Rossendale Borough Council
£25,801 - £29,636
We are keen to improve our recycling levels, tackle the climate change agenda and take pride in our open spaces. Rossendale, Lancashire
Recuriter: Rossendale Borough Council

Principal Electrical Asset Officer

Birmingham City Council
£34,788-£42,683
The role requires the post holder to be a key technical specialist for the Authority’s Highways Electrical Asset Management function, providing... Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Highways & Drainage Team Manager

Newport City Council
£37,849 - £40,760
You will be skilled at analysing multiple sources of information, making excellent decisions, and driving difficult situations towards a... Newport (Casnewydd)
Recuriter: Newport City Council

Senior Environmental Health Officer (Housing Lead)

Mole Valley District Council
£37,821 - £42,329
An exciting opportunity for a Senior Environmental Health Officer to join our forward thinking Environmental Health Partnership Oxted, Surrey
Recuriter: Mole Valley District Council

Street Works Compliance Officer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£29,636 - £31,371 per annum
For further information on the role please click. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Senior Sustainability & Resilience Officer

Essex County Council
£30001.0 - £34017 per annum
This opportunity is to be offered on a 6-month, fixed term / secondment contract basisInterviews scheduled to be held Friday 17th April Job Purpose Es England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Highway Electrical Maintenance & Installation Operative (Street Lighting) Apprentice

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
National minimum wage, currently £8.20 in first 12 months, increasing to £8.72 thereafter
If you are looking for hands on experience and learning on the job then an apprenticeship could be the right route for you. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Highways Civil Engineering Technician Apprentice x 3

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
National minimum wage, currently £8.20 in first 12 months, increasing to £8.72 thereafter
If you are looking for hands on experience and learning on the job then an apprenticeship could be the right route for you. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Safety, Health & Environment Technician Apprentice

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
National minimum wage, currently £8.20 in first 12 months, increasing to £8.72 thereafter
If you are looking for hands on experience and learning on the job then an apprenticeship could be the right route for you. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Strategic Director, Environment & Regeneration

Brent Council
Circa £155,000
Brent is the Borough of Cultures - the most diverse in London - and as a Council we believe in delivering for our communities. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Street Cleansing Operative x6

Redbridge London Borough Council
£20,466.00 - £20,835.00
This role will involve working as an individual as well as part of a team, litter pick the streets in the local area, empty the litter bins. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Assistant Engineer - Grade 3

Northumberland County Council
£27,905 - £31,371
Assistant Engineer (Structures) - Band 7 (SCP 24-28) The Council Northumberland County Council operates a huge range of services across one of the ... County Hall, Morpeth
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Maintenance Technician

Worcestershire County Council
£18,497 - £20,022 (with progression up to £24,894)
As a Maintenance Technician, you’ll be joining a great team! Worcestershire
Recuriter: Worcestershire County Council