Retiming deliveries could lead to cyclist deaths, says SteerSafe

Moves to encourage out-of-hours deliveries in London, aimed at cutting congestion, have been slated by safety campaigners who warn they could lead to more cyclists’ deaths.

Road safety campaign SteerSafe said this week that any move to night-time deliveries should be accompanied by a mandatory requirement for hauliers to install 360-degree camera systems on their trucks.

The call came after TfL launched a campaign to retime deliveries to shops, pubs, hotels and restaurants during off-peak hours to cut congestion.

SteerSafe founder Chris Hanson-Abbott said: “Moving deliveries to off-peak hours throws up a host of safety issues. The point is that blind spots exist at any hour of the day or night and at night people are less visible and drivers can be less alert, and audible warning systems are switched off.”

He added: “I would like to see the mandatory fitting of 360-degree camera systems. These give drivers a view all around the vehicle via a single glance at a screen in the cab. That’s the only way to eliminate all blind spots.”

FTA head of policy for London Natalie Chapman said: “London is a 24/7 city with an increasing population. That is driving greater demand for goods and services and London is struggling to accommodate that need in daylight hours and so other options have to be explored.

“We are not arguing for all deliveries to be switched to 
night time. The aim is to ease 
peak traffic, particularly in the morning rush, which is so dangerous for vulnerable road users, by spreading those traffic levels throughout the day and night.”

Outspoken Delivery to help slash vehicle emissions in Waltham Forest

Outspoken Delivery is to extend its cargo bike operation into the capital, as part of scheme to reduce vehicle emissions in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

The borough has won funding from the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund for a scheme to help local businesses use zero-emission cargo bikes and electric vans where possible to improve air quality.

It follows a successful ‘Christmas Courier’ pilot that saw 20 businesses participate and more than 1,000 parcels delivered in December 2016 by zero-emission modes.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, deputy leader and cabinet member for the environment at Waltham Forest Borough Council, said: “Outspoken Delivery will be a fantastic partner to build upon the success of the Christmas Courier pilot scheme and help to reduce vehicle emissions in the borough while supporting local businesses.

“Improving air quality is one of my main priorities and this scheme will help to transform how deliveries to and from businesses and residents are made while making our streets healthier places to live.”

Outspoken MD Rob King said: “We are very excited about this opportunity to work with the London Borough of Waltham Forest and to provide a service that will benefit both the businesses and residents of the borough.”

The cycle courier firm already has city schemes up and running in Cambridge, Glasgow and Norwich, with the Waltham Forest initiative its first permanent operation in London.

Operations director Gary Armstrong told Freight in the City that further expansion was likely on the cards: “We are always on the lookout to expand to other boroughs in London and other UK cities.”

The Waltham Forest scheme will start in September, and the company is on the hunt for an operations manager to head it up.

TfL mulls London Lorry Standard in response to Mayor’s Transport Strategy

TfL is exploring whether a combined London Lorry Standard could meet the mayor’s goals around the environment and vulnerable road-user safety, while making it easier for hauliers to comply.

Contained within the Mayor’s Transport Strategy for London, the single standard appears to be an attempt to unify the recent proliferation of standards for the capital such as the Safer Lorry Scheme, incoming Direct Vision Standard and tightening of emissions requirements to meet the ULEZ.

A TfL spokesman told Freight in the City: “The draft Mayor’s Transport Strategy has made his vision for a fairer, greener, healthier and more prosperous city clear.

“There are a wide range of policies and proposals that recognise the important role the freight industry has in both achieving this vision and the continued sustainable growth of London.

“To support this, TfL is exploring how a combined London Lorry Standard could reduce both the environmental and safety impacts of deliveries in London, so we can bring up the standards of vehicles while making it easier for operators to comply,” he said.

The spokesman added that TfL will also explore how it can work with other UK cities to widen the uptake of any new standard.

The transport strategy contains a host of policy points affecting road transport, including an ambition to reduce freight in central London by 10% – based on current levels – during the next decade.

Have your say on plans to make Lambeth Bridge and Waterloo safer for cyclists and pedestrians

TfL is calling for responses to plans to make London’s Lambeth Bridge and Waterloo more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly.

The plans, published yesterday (27 June), include the installation of segregated cycle lanes over Lambeth Bridge as well as two-stage facilities for cyclists turning right at crossroads and the ability for left-turning cyclists to bypass crossroads.

Proposals for Waterloo include the removal of roundabouts, the creation of a new public square by closing the south-west corner of the roundabout, the reinstatement of two-way traffic and the introduction of segregated cycle lanes around BFI Imax Waterloo (see image).

Waterloo roundabout and Lambeth Bridge northern roundabout are included in the 73 junctions in London with the worst safety record for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, according to TfL.

The plans come in the wake of mayor Sadiq Khan’s pledge last week to boost the proportion of people walking, cycling and taking public transport from 64% journeys to 80% by 2041, as part of his draft Transport Strategy.

Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said: “Our plans for Lambeth Bridge and Waterloo will make a real difference to these intimidating junctions.

“They will be completely transformed to make the areas safer and more pleasant to travel through, and will link cyclists up to our wider cycle network. It’s a great example of our work to improve London’s most dangerous junctions and create people-friendly streets across the city.”

Responses to the proposals for the Waterloo area can be placed via tfl.gov.uk/waterloo-roundabout.

Responses to Lambeth Bridge proposals can be posted via tfl.gov.uk/Lambeth-bridge.

Road freight levels to be cut by 10% under London mayor Sadiq Khan’s strategy

London mayor Sadiq Khan has revealed plans to reduce road freight levels by 10% in the next decade as part of his Transport Strategy for the city.

Released this week (21 June), the strategy is under consultation until 2 October and covers a range of areas from public transport, missions, congestion and street design to housing.

It also puts green public transport, walking, and cycling at the heart of its vision, describing London’s streets as too congested and dangerous at present.

“London most become a city where walking, cycling and green public transport become the most appealing choice,”Khan said in the foreword.

While the document acknowledges the effect and necessity of reducing car use in the capital, consistent with initiatives such as the forthcoming Direct Vision Standard it singles out unacceptable road danger caused by the “dominance of large, heavy, potentially dangerous vehicles”.

While acknowledging the importance of road freight, and even stating that reductions in congestion could improve the transport of “essential freight”, hauliers will face further curbs.

Despite the city being forecast to increase from 8.7 million people to 10.5 million in the next few decades, Khan wants a 10% reduction in freight traffic – truck and van – in central London during the morning peak by 2026 (based on the current volume).

By 2020 he also wants a 5% reduction in construction traffic within the capital too, largely by either retiming servicing activity, avoiding journeys all together, and through the use of more consolidation centres around outer London.

These, coupled with ‘micro-distribution’ centres in inner and central London where deliveries are made with low or zero emission vehicles or cargo bikes – as well as more use of river and rail – are seen as key to achieving this reduction.

“The success of London’s transport system in the future relies on the city becoming a place where people choose to walk and cycle,” said Khan.

The FTA described the target of a 10% reduction in freight traffic as unrealistic, given the needs of London’s growing population.

Its head of policy for London Natalie Chapman added that the mayor’s agenda on demanding HGVs change shape to increase direct vision – a change which may cost load space, thus requiring more vehicles on London’s roads – would also make this a hard goal to reach.

“It costs so much to deliver into London that the road freight industry is already highly load efficient.

“There may be some benefits from further consolidation we can gain, but these will be outweighed by the needs of London’s larger population. The real gains in traffic management will come from private car use – if car users can be enabled or encouraged to switch to public transport, cycling or walking then London’s transport network could become exponentially more efficient,” said Chapman.

The mayor has also outlined an ambition for a zero-emission zone in central London by 2025, ahead of the ULEZ coming into force from 2019.

Highlights

  • Expansion of cycle hire scheme
  • Commitment to comprehensive cycle routes
  • Reduction in general London road traffic of 10% to 15% by 2041
  • Greater use of off-peak deliveries
  • The Direct Vision Standard and a similar standard for London buses
  • Work with large employers to redirect employees’ personal deliveries to consolidation points instead
  • Consolidation of waste and recycling via Commercial Waste Zones or Business Improvement Districts
  • London Lorry Standard to “simplify the regulatory environment for HGVs operating in London”
  • Opposition to third runway at Heathrow

Two Mercedes-Benz Econic tippers join Cemex London fleet

Cemex has put two Mercedes-Benz Econic tippers on to the road, timed in part to coincide with Bike Week 2017 (10-18 June).

The low-entry cab trucks join a London fleet of 33, and will move aggregates from quarries and wharves to ready-mix concrete plants and customers’ construction sites.

David Hart, UK supply chain director at Cemex, said: “We’re delighted to be expanding the number of low-entry cab vehicles in our fleet.

“This type of vehicle is perfect for the urban environment with its busy roads, hence why our three low trucks [all Econics] are based in Greater London.

“However, in more rural conditions the driving position and height above the road of a standard HGV often enables the driver to see the traffic much further ahead and anticipate any problems.”

Cemex said it would like to add more low-cab models to its fleet, subject to the work undertaken.

Hart added: ““Due to the design of the low-cab truck, it requires the road and access surfaces to be relatively level and in reasonable condition, not always easy on construction sites.

“We therefore, need the whole supply chain and the industry to be committed to enabling this type of vehicle to become the norm in the construction industry.”

Last year Cemex placed an order for 47 low-entry Volvo FMs for use by sub-contractors.

Haulage industry backs College of Paramedics’ call to reconsider fully segregated cycle lanes

A call from the College of Paramedics to reconsider the introduction of fully segregated cycle lanes in cities has received backing from the haulage industry.

The College of Paramedics has said that kerbed cycle lanes make it much harder for motorists to pull over to one side to allow emergency vehicles to pass.

Richard Webber, a paramedic and spokesman for the college, said every minute that a critically ill patient is delayed from receiving hospital treatment reduces their chance of survival significantly.

Webber said paramedics are reporting increasing delays in city areas with kerbed cycle lanes and called for town planners to re-think the introduction of fully segregated lanes.

“If you are trying to get to an emergency call, particularly at rush hour when the roads are very slow-moving, you’re not able to use your sirens to any effect to get people out of the way because there is nowhere for them to go,” Webber said, adding: “You just end up sitting behind them waiting.”

The College of Paramedics also raised concerns about the design of London’s cycle superhighways, which, it claims, are impeding the flow of emergency vehicles and creating queues of ambulances outside hospitals including The Royal London Hospital, which is a major centre for emergency care.

Cities including Bristol, Edinburgh, London and Manchester have introduced segregated lanes, with similar projects in the pipeline for other towns and cities across the UK.

RHA deputy policy director Duncan Buchanan told Freight in the City: “The college is highlighting a key point. The road is there for all road users and needs to be fit for purpose for all road users.

“If kerbed cycle lanes are preventing vehicles from getting out of the way of emergency vehicles or preventing broken-down vehicles from being pushed out of the way of other road users, then it is clear there is a network design issue.”

The Brewery Logistics Group also called for a review of cycle lane design.

Chairman Mike Bracey said: “I can understand the College of Paramedics’ concern on this issue. Segregated cycle lanes are creating even more traffic congestion and delays in London and elsewhere for all road users. That in turn is creating more emissions, so if the Ultra Low Emission Zone in London is ever going to work they will have to redesign cycle lanes.

“These cycle lanes are mainly used in peak times and empty the rest of the time – so very often you will see a queue of traffic idling next to an empty cycle lane. Something has to be done.”

Clocs rolls out pilot scheme to help HGV operators assess delivery site conditions

A tool to show HGV operators the ground conditions they will encounter at construction and waste sites has been developed for Clocs by consultancy Aecom.

Announced at last week’s Tip-ex and Tank-ex shows in Harrogate, the new website tool grades all sites with a five-star rating (see box, below) to show which vehicles will be able to access them.

The aim is to help operators confidently order low-entry-cab models (LEC) and N3 (on-road) trucks as opposed to traditionally picking N3G specification HGVs for operations that never face the true off-road conditions they are designed for.

The site assessment is based on four ground-condition categories: approach angle; materials; rutting and bumps; and water. These four categories have been identified as the most important factors in determining which vehicle types can operate on sites safely.

Weather can considerably effect site conditions and alter the outcome of the rating, so assessment ensures to take this into consideration.

Clocs on-site ground conditions rating
• 5 Star: Site ground conditions suitable for all vehicle types including LECs (in all weather conditions)
• 4 Star: Site ground conditions suitable for all vehicle types including LECs (weather permitting)
• 3 Star: Site ground conditions suitable for most vehicle types including on- and off-road capable HGVs (not LECs)
• 2 Star: Site ground conditions suitable for off-road capable HGVs only (in all weather conditions)
• 1 Star: Site ground conditions only suitable for plant machinery and weather permitting, may be suitable for off-road capable HGVs

In the first stage of the pilot, all sites across the South East – as the project has been funded by TfL – have received a provisional rating based on satellite imagery.

The next stage will see the rollout of a guidance handbook, also available online, to all sites, with owners encouraged to verify their rating through a simple assessment procedure.

“Should we then start rolling this out across the UK? Are the categories right?” asked independent logistics consultant at firm AtoH Glen Davies, who encouraged feedback from operators. “This is a pilot and is the first time it’s ever been done.”

Speaking to Tip-ex visitors at the Clocs seminar session, Davies said the logistics sector had already stepped up to the challenge of making vehicle movements as safe as possible in an urban environment.

However, he added as London mayor Sadiq Khan’s political aim is to remove “dangerous trucks” from the capital’s streets, it was essential that site conditions were of a good standard to avoid contributing to the issue.

“There is a real balance of need to make sure the physical conditions are right,” he said. “We need to improve the sites to make sure vehicles aren’t damaged and remain fit for the road.”

Davies added: “In Scandinavia they do it really well. Trucks never have to leave the hardstanding, so only need N3G specs when working on a site and never leave it; demonstrating a segregated approach to the use of their vehicles.”

 

Garic becomes 200th Fors gold accredited company

Bury-based health and safety equipment manufacturer Garic has become the 200th company to achieve Fors gold accreditation.

Garic, which manufactures, hires and sells welfare and environmental equipment to the construction industry, has a fleet of 50 vehicles.

It became a bronze member after learning about the scheme while working on Crossrail.

Garic transport manager Mark Booth said: “Receiving Fors gold is a fantastic achievement and reflects the level of professionalism and commitment of our in-house transport operations.

“There are very few competitors within our industry that have this level of recognition and we’ll be proud to display the Fors gold logo on our fleet.”

Fors operations manager Sonia Hayward said: “We congratulate Garic on this crucial milestone for the business which acknowledges the hard work of the whole team to raise standards and implement best practice.

“Achieving our 200th Fors gold member is a significant milestone for us, and we are delighted that companies such as Garic continue to see measurable improvement in their operations when progressing to Fors gold accreditation.”

Econic skip loader at Tip-ex boasts first in-house gearbox

The Econic skip loader on the Mercedes-Benz stand is the first example to fitted with the in-house PowerShift 3 automated manual transmission in place of the traditional Allison.

Pricing depends on exact specification but is expected to similar to the Allison.

The show truck also featured the improved driver access, with a wider opening full height door.

It also came with the promise that it would be available with Blind Spot Assist by the end of the year.