Could Clocs become national standard for work-related road risk?

The backers of the voluntary safety scheme for the construction sector, Clocs, believe it can become the national standard for safer urban HGV movements and build on the lessons learnt during three years of operation in London.

These ambitions were outlined at the fifth Clocs progress event (pictured), which took place at London’s ExCel last month. Hundreds of visitors went along to view nearly 30 new or adapted trucks featuring enhanced driver visibility and an array of vulnerable road-user detection devices.

TfL commissioner Mike Brown said: “We need to work with other parts of the UK to ensure Clocs becomes the national standard for work-related road risk. Not because we think arrogantly that we get everything right in London, but just because it’s got to be better to not create a new system if we’ve leaned the lessons and already have some best practice in place.”

Brown’s comments were echoed by construction sector trade association Build UK, which described Clocs as a clear example of best practice it believed all its members should embrace – it represents 11,500 specialist building contractors.

Build UK chief executive Susannah Nichol said that like hauliers, construction firms do not want different standards in different places and while there is “such a clear standard of best practice set by Clocs, this is one of those times when it is really easy to get everyone heading in the same direction”.

Andy Salter, MD of Freightinthecity’s publisher Road Transport Media, chaired the event and urged other major cities to keep things streamlined for hauliers and to stick to a tried- and-tested approach.

“If we’re going to have cycle-friendly trucks, the last thing operators need is a plethora of different and potentially conflicting standards,” he said. “What’s needed is one standard and one standard alone. We’re convinced that TfL’s Clocs template is the perfect model for broader application across the country.”

Glen Davies, programme manager at Clocs, praised the industry for its efforts in raising the profile of work-related road risk and bringing new vehicles to market. “We have done fantastically and [this Clocs progress event] is testament to where we’ve moved in the past couple of years,” he said.

TfL now plans to appoint a new administrative body to run the scheme and expand its reach nationally and into other sectors.

Clocs, TfL said, will remain industry-led and its ambition is to make it part of the day-to-day business in the construction sector.

TfL added that it has committed £8m a year to funding its freight programmes, such as the Safer Trucks scheme, which it believes will accelerate the uptake of vehicles designed via Clocs.