The increase in people walking and cycling and the growth of construction traffic could create a ‘perfect storm’ increase in people killed and seriously injured (KSIs) by lorries, a conference has been told.
Derek Rees, project director for the Construction Logistics and Community Safety (CLOCS) scheme, told a conference that a fivefold increase in vulnerable road users, driven by government policy, combined with a doubling of HGVs, could see this type KSIs increase by a factor of 10, if action was not taken.
Mike Petter, director of the Considerate Constructors Scheme, said he welcomed the change of name of the CLOCS scheme to include pedestrians as vulnerable road users.
He said: ‘As we all know, it isn’t just about cyclists. For me one of the big positive changes about CLOCS is that concentration on the vulnerable road user, because we are killing pedestrians where we shouldn’t be killing pedestrians.’
London transport commissioner Mike Brown told delegates that the ‘subtle change’ to the CLOCS name, swapping ‘cyclists’ for ‘community’, ‘doesn’t mean…that cyclists are no longer vulnerable road users’.
But he said ‘cyclists aren’t alone in their vulnerability’, adding that while the huge number of pedestrians across the capital is something to celebrate, it is also something be very aware of.
Mr Brown added that the change also reflected London mayor Sadiq Khan’s ‘vision zero’ approach to road safety, based on a belief that no loss of life is inevitable or acceptable.
He said Transport for London’s implementation of the ‘world first’ Direct Vision Standard for HGVs would ‘make roads safer for everyone’.
Cllr Kate Cairns of Northumberland County Council told delegates that one site in her area contained a ‘perfect storm’ of a settlement with a primary school, split by a wide, straight road, sitting on a national Sustrans cycle route, flanked by two quarries and with 66 new homes being constructed.
She said that one of the biggest concerns of residents was the danger posed by HGVs: ‘The people are finding their voice and the noise is rising. Local authorities are run by elected members and elected members are listening to voters.’
Greg Gavin, head of neighbourhood services at Northumberland CC, told delegates that although the county is very rural, with a small urban hub, it was in the rural areas that the interaction of vulnerable road users with traffic was causing concern.