Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety
Emma Delmonte, TRL
Transport for London commissioned TRL to undertake research aimed at understanding the risk presented by construction vehicles to cyclists (compared to general haulage vehicles) and why construction vehicles are over-involved in cyclist collisions.
Detailed analysis of cyclist fatalities has shown that of the 16 in 2011 in London, nine involved a heavy goods vehicle (HGV), and seven of these were construction vehicles. Given that the construction industry is responsible for only a small proportion of freight traffic in the United Kingdom (UK) and London, this suggests that construction vehicles may be overrepresented in cyclist fatalities in London.
Transport for London (TfL) commissioned TRL (the UK's Transport Research Laboratory) to undertake research aimed at understanding the following general themes around this issue:
1. Is it possible to understand the relative risk represented by construction vehicles to cyclists, when compared with general haulage vehicles? If so, what is it? What are the limitations in the data available?
2. Are there features of contractual arrangements, working practices, driver behaviour, or vehicle design (or combinations of these) that contribute to the apparent over-involvement of construction vehicles in fatal collisions with cyclists in London?
The research also aimed to identify measures that could be implemented to help reduce the number of such collisions.
The project employed multiple research methods. Initially Stats19 and enhanced Stats19 data were analysed (Stats19 is the general term used to refer to the UK national data set of road traffic collisions involving human death or personal injury occurring on the public highway and notified to the police within 30 days of occurrence, and in which one or more vehicles are involved. Further information from: http://data.gov.uk/dataset/road-accidents-safety-data), and a literature review conducted. These informed the later stages of the project, which involved a detailed investigation into the use of construction logistics plans (CLPs) in London, 3D scanning and modelling of two construction vehicles (and a general haulage vehicle for comparison), observed drives with the same three types of vehicle on real drives in London, and interviews with stakeholders (clients, principal contractors, subcontractors, drivers) within construction networks in London and also with stakeholders who had experience of general haulage.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The 'Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety (CLOCS) report included 11 findings and 12 associated recommendations which emerged from the research. Importantly, the evidence collected in the data analysis suggested that construction vehicles are over-represented (relative to their exposure) in fatal collisions with cyclists in London. The findings and their associated recommendations were grouped here under four key areas: â€˜Raising the profile of work-related road safetyâ€™, â€˜Improving work-related road safety management in the construction industryâ€™, â€˜Making construction vehicles and journeys saferâ€™, and â€˜Data improvementsâ€™.
As a result of this piece of research, a great deal of progress has been made. Sir Peter Hendy, Commissioner for TfL, hosted the first â€˜Working Togetherâ€™ event in May 2013 to provide industry practitioners with an overview of the report and to publicise the findings. The event provided a platform to call upon those in a position to influence change to take forward actions seeking to reduce the risk posed by construction vehicles to cyclists and other vulnerable road users. TfL worked with the industry to review the TRL report recommendations and develop the CLOCS programme.
Since then more than 100 organisations have demonstrated their commitment, and considerable progress has since been made to take forward the actions identified through a programme of work. Working groups were formed with senior representatives from construction industry clients and operators, vehicle manufacturers, and regulatory and enforcement bodies to progress the actions through three work streams: improving vehicle safety, addressing the safety imbalance and encouraging the adoption of best practice. The research led to the development and launch of an industry standard for work-related road risk in less than six months. Within its first five months CLOCS developed the national, industry wide common ‘Standard for Construction logistics: Managing Work Related Road Risk’. Two follow-up events were held in December 2013 and July 2014 at which members of the working groups and the CLOCS community detailed progress on tackling this issue.
Association for European Transport