Leading road materials firm Tarmac has announced trials of a new Econic concrete mixer designed to enhance the driver’s field of vision, particularly on busy urban roads.
From manufacturer Mercedes-Benz, the vehicle features a panoramic windscreen and floor-to-ceiling doors, giving drivers improved visibility of cyclists particularly on their nearside, a key blind spot in tradition models.
Cement mixers, tipper trucks and Heavy Goods Vehicles have all come under the spotlight for cyclist safety after figures have shown they are involved in a large proportion of cyclist deaths in London.
Tarmac claims it is the first company in the UK to trial the new design, using the 26 tonne concrete mixer at its Silvertown plant in London.
Commenting on the new vehicle, the company’s national transport manager, Sean McGrae, said: 'We operate the largest vehicle fleet in the industry, and are committed to improving vulnerable road user safety across the UK. The trial of the Econic mixer is part of our broader approach to road user safety.
'We are pleased to be working with vehicle manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz to trial this revolutionary new safety design. As an industry, it’s important that we continually explore opportunities to drive improvements in this area.'
In the capital Transport for London set up the Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety (CLOCS) scheme, to reduce the risk of collisions between vulnerable road users and construction vehicles.
The scheme’s aims include improving vehicle safety ‘through the design and manufacture of safer new vehicles and by retrofitting appropriate equipment to existing vehicles’.
As a champion of CLOCS, Tarmac said it ‘helps promote a consistent nationwide specification for HGVs' and helps change driver behaviours 'by ensuring the delivery of progressive training’.
Surveyor's Highway Management conference will take place on September 23rd and 24th in Manchester. To register go to: www.highway.surveyorevents.com