Tarmac and Nottingham Trent University get in gear for cycle safety
Cyclists and HGV drivers recently joined forces at a unique event hosted in Nottingham to help find new solutions for improving cycle safety around construction vehicles in town and city centres.
Commissioned by leading building materials and construction solutions company Tarmac and delivered by the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment at Nottingham Trent University with the support of Nottingham-based cycling charity RideWise, the Cycle Safety in Urban Environments event saw roles reversed, as drivers and cyclists aimed to understand safety from each other’s perspectives.
As part of the ‘exchanging places’ project, cyclists were provided with the opportunity to sit in the cab of a stationary Tarmac HGV, being guided to the mirrors and in-cab video feeds from an instructor, with the driver cycling alongside in the vehicle’s blind spot.
John Anderson, regional head of logistics at Tarmac said: “As a responsible operator of one of the largest vehicle fleets in the construction industry, we are committed to improving the safety of cyclists, pedestrians and all vulnerable road users across the UK.
“We believe that there is an opportunity to continually improve the safety of road users both through education and events and developing and adopting the technology and equipment. We’ve really enjoyed this opportunity to work with local partners to discuss shared challenges and future opportunities.”
Other parts of the event included a series of focus groups to examine the difficulties and explore solutions to the challenges of urban cycling, as well as presentations given by representatives of Tarmac, Ridewise, the DVSA and Nottingham City Council.
The sessions also provided an opportunity for Tarmac to get feedback from the cycling community on proposed safety innovations the company is looking to develop as part of its ongoing commitment to vulnerable road user safety.
Dr Matthew Watkins, Senior Lecturer in Product Design in the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment at Nottingham Trent University (NTU), said: “We are very excited to be working with Tarmac to further develop our existing research into cyclist safety in urban environments.
“The opportunity to bring both HGV drivers and commuter cyclists together to explore design solutions is timely and important in our shared drive to enhance the safety of vulnerable road users around construction vehicles in cities and towns throughout the UK.”
Tarmac is a champion of the Construction Logistics and Community Safety Standard (CLOCS), helping to promote a consistent nationwide specification for HGVs and aiming to change driver behaviours by ensuring the delivery of progressive training.
The company, which has an 1,800 strong HGV fleet, also became the first UK operator to be approved by FORS, the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme, to undertake whole-fleet accreditation. The scheme promotes best practice for commercial vehicle operators encompassing all aspects of safety, efficiency, and environmental protection by encouraging and training fleet operators to measure, monitor and improve performance.