The company building London’s super sewer has invested in a fleet of HGVs designed to be safer for cyclists and pedestrians.
Tideway’s innovative new ‘Low Entry Cab’ (LEC) vehicles feature redesigned cabs that increases the amount of direct driver vision, providing a much better chance of drivers seeing vulnerable road users, especially cyclists.
Tideway is now using 27 LEC vehicles across the project, with more expected to come into use over the course of construction.
Steve Hails, Director of Health, Safety and Wellbeing, said: “Ensuring the safety of not only those working on site, but also those potentially impacted by our operations, including vulnerable road users, is one of Tideway’s core values.
“Our goal is to transport most of our material by river, significantly reducing the amount of HGVs on the road during construction. Where this isn’t possible, we’ve pledged to use the safest vehicles available when working on the project.
“These HGVs are part of a number of measures, including enhanced driver training, that show our commitments to making London safer for all road users.”
The use of these LEC HGVs will help raise awareness of the Mayor’s proposed HGV Safety Permit Scheme, incorporating the Direct Vision Standard (DVS), which Tideway has been working with TfL to develop. The DVS was launched at a Tideway worksite in 2016.
Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “HGVs are involved in 70 per cent of cyclist fatalities and 20 per cent of pedestrian deaths, despite making up only 4 per cent of road miles in London. That’s why we are introducing our world-leading Direct Vision Standard next year, improving the safety of trucks on the capital’s roads. It’s fantastic to see that our standards are already encouraging forward-looking businesses, like Tideway, to choose safer vehicles for their fleet.”
Christina Calderato, Head of Delivery Planning at Transport for London, said: “Tideway’s investment in new low entry cabs is a brilliant example of a company being proactive about reducing road danger and adopting industry best practice, focusing on the vision from a driver’s cab. HGV blind spots are a major contributory factor in fatal collisions involving people walking and cycling. Our Direct Vision Standard focuses on the visibility from a driver’s cab, directly tackling blind spots to make sure that only vehicles suitable for the urban environment can use London’s roads. The first permits will be issued next year.”
Nathan Hopgood of S Walsh and Sons Ltd, who are operating LEC tippers in the east section of the Thames Tideway Tunnel, said: “The construction logistics industry is recognising its obligation to social responsibility, and by operating more direct vision HGVs, we can all make a positive difference. We are pleased to be working with Tideway in leading the way on this.”
Tideway requires every construction HGV driver working on the project to take part in a full-day immersive training programme, specifically addressing the challenges they face on London’s busy roads. The course is accredited by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) meaning the training counts towards HGV drivers’ mandatory Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) requirements.
Tideway has also been working with the Corporation of London and the City of London Police to inform cyclists of the dangers of getting too close to HGVs in the City through the Exchanging Places programme.
The programme provides cyclists with a short briefing with a police officer in the driver’s seat of an HGV to give them the best understanding of what drivers can and can’t see when they are on the road.#
Notes to editors:
Tideway is the independent construction company delivering London’s super sewer, the Thames Tideway Tunnel, which is a 25km sewer tunnel urgently required to tackle sewage pollution in the tidal River Thames. In total the project is creating 4,000 direct sustainable jobs. One in every 50 site jobs is an apprenticeship. Construction from 24 sites across London is due for completion by 2025*.
*This article has been amended to reflect the project's updated completion date following an analysis of the impacts of the pandemic.