This is where it all begun. Michael Heduan MBE of Crossrail is, in our humble opinion, responsible for the birth or both FORS and CLOCS. It was his vision to improve road safety that launched the Crossrail safety mandates, which led to TFL’s formation of FORS and CLOCS.
Crossrail call Cycle Alert “…second generation technology …” and we are working with them to see Cycle Alert being a recommended device that is Crossrail compliant.
Many other organisations have adopted the Crossrail standards, which are set out below:
- Crossrail’s contractor requirements mandate that all Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) working on the project are fitted with safety devices including blind spot proximity sensors [first generation technology], side under-run guards and warning alerts for cyclists.
- As intensive construction for Crossrail gets underway, any HGVs not meeting Crossrail’s strict standards are being turned away from worksites with the contractor liable for any costs incurred. This applies to HGVs operated directly by a contractor or on their behalf by a haulier.
- Crossrail requires that HGVs are fitted with Fresnel lenses, side scan equipment which results in an audible beep in the drivers cab when a cyclist is on the left inside space. Under-run guards are also required to prevent cyclists from coming into contact with lorry wheels. Vehicles must also carry signs to warn cyclists and pedestrians.
- These mandatory measures are being implemented with the full support of Crossrail’s principal contractors. Higher requirements for safety devices on lorries have always been a Crossrail contractual requirement. A limited number of lorries have been turned away from Crossrail sites for non-compliance.
These measures support the wider work by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and Transport for London, to improve conditions for cyclists on London streets by reducing the dangers represented by HGVs.
Andy Mitchell, Crossrail Programme Director said: “Crossrail sets high standards for lorries operating on the project and views the safety of all road users, including cyclists, as a significant priority.
“Crossrail requires all lorries working on the Crossrail project to be fitted with additional safety features to protect cyclists. HGVs that do not comply with our increased requirements will be refused entry to Crossrail worksites and turned away incurring financial cost to individual contractors. As our contractors often work on multiple construction projects, these new safety measures will help improve lorry safety across the construction industry, delivering benefits for cyclists across London.”
Cynthia Barlow, Chair, RoadPeace said:
“Crossrail is to be commended for promoting good practices which reduce the danger posed by lorries in London. They have produced both safer drivers and safer lorries. They have shown that we do not have to wait for legislation to get rid of blind spots. On behalf of those families who will never know what they have been spared, thank you for your efforts to prevent death and disabilities to cyclists and pedestrians.”
Ian Wilson, Safety Director, Balfour Beatty Major Civil Engineering said:
“Managing the interfaces between people and plant is at the heart of our Zero Harm ethos. Therefore, we are delighted that Crossrail is leading the programme to raise the bar in addressing these key hazards. Balfour Beatty is committed to supporting them and our supply chain in the development of new technologies to further enhance these safety measures.”
Crossrail has also been working with Transport for London (TfL) to install trixi mirrors on left-turn traffic signals in close proximity to our major central London sites to further increase the visibility of cyclists to HGV drivers. A total of 52 trixi mirrors have been installed.
In conjunction with cycling groups, Crossrail has sought to increase the awareness of HGVs with cyclists while also improving driver training. Crossrail is working with the Metropolitan Police and City of London Police to organise ‘exchanging places’ cyclists awareness events near Crossrail worksites. At Crossrail’s Liverpool Street worksite, an engagement programme with local cyclists has begun aiming to raise understanding of the measures cyclists can take to improve their own safety.
All frequent drivers working on Crossrail must complete a dedicated training programme concerning sharing the road with vulnerable road users. More than 2,000 drivers have now completed the Crossrail Lorry Driver Induction Training programme which has been developed in consultation with cycling and road safety campaign groups and the construction industry.
Since 2009, drivers have been trained on how to share London’s roads safely near cyclists and other vulnerable road users. The one day course is targeted at professional lorry drivers of regular Crossrail vehicles over 3.5 tonnes. This includes drivers of concrete mixers, tippers, articulated low loaders and plant hire vehicles.
Crossrail lorries are required to travel on designated local routes in central London. These designated routes cover both access and exit from sites are agreed with local authorities under the Crossrail Act.
Crossrail is committed to minimising lorry movements in central London. Excavated material from the construction of Crossrail’s tunnels between Royal Oak and Farringdon will be removed by freight train rather than lorry. More than 85% of excavated material will be transported by rail and water, significantly reducing the level of Crossrail’s lorry movements through the busy streets of London.
Crossrail is also working closely with TfL to ensure all contractors working on the project achieve ‘bronze or higher’ membership of the Freight Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS). The scheme encourages safe and sustainable transport operations and each member undergoes a safety inspection and audit.
The Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS)
This is an accreditation scheme that aims to improve fleet safety standards in London and the UK.
It is subsidised, it is voluntary and it is open to all fleet operators.
The Freight Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) is making London’s roads safer, cleaner and less congested. For vehicle operators, it offers peace of mind that they are meeting their legislative requirements, as well helping to increase efficiency, reduce costs and win work.
More than 300,000 vans and lorries take to London’s roads every day, delivering goods and services to the Capital. Whether they are welcomed, loathed or merely tolerated, the fact is they play a vital part in London’s economy.
Unfortunately, they also contribute to air pollution, and congestion and collisions on the roads, many of which result in serious or even fatal injuries.
Commercial vehicle activities are governed by numerous regulations and agencies. Until three years ago, however, there was no single scheme to help van and lorry operators comply.
That all changed in 2008 when Transport for London (TfL) introduced FORS.
The aim of FORS is simple. In creating one over-arching scheme that encompassed all aspects of safety, fuel efficiency, economical operations and vehicle emissions, TfL was seeking to make London’s roads safer, cleaner and less congested.
FORS is a voluntary scheme that helps improve operators’ performance in each of these areas – a ‘one-stop shop’, in the words of TfL’s Freight and Fleet Programme Manager Steve Steele.
“It started with the bronze standard, which covers all aspects of lawfulness. Legislation can be a maze for operators to negotiate and before we introduced the bronze award there was no single point of reference for them,” said Steve.
“Improving the performance of freight in London is critically important for economic vitality and the quality of life of London’s residents and workers… and I would invite all boroughs and other public bodies to follow the GLA group functional bodies in their responsible procurement practices in adopting the FORS standard in its procurement of goods and services.”
Peter Hendy, Commissioner, Transport for London
Promoting FORS standards
At the core of the Cycle Alert brand is our commitment to educating both cyclist and driver on safer road use. We believe that technology can only be a part of the solution, when coupled with a greater emphasis on dialogue between bus and lorry drivers, cyclists, and all road users, and enhanced investment in cycle networks on Britain’s roads.
As part of our drive to promote the standards that fall in line with those upheld by FORS and its practical Safe Urban Driving training, Cycle Alert holds free Exchanging Places events – the most recent of these was in conjunction with West Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership and our next will be in partnership with FORS Gold member Cemex, to mark the opening of York’s new velodrome.
Cycle Alert makes every client/potential client aware the FORS scheme because we feel that it dovetails excellently with our ethos of improving work related road risk. To this end, we also offer discounts on our products to all FORS members and associates.
Cycle Alert Testimonials from FORS members:
“By fitting Cycle Alert we are achieving a very high standard of health and safety on public highways both for Keltbray and other road users.”
Adrian Scott, Haulage Operations Director, Keltbray – FORS Gold member
“Eddie Stobart is traditionally at the forefront of innovation when it comes to the training of its drivers and safety on the road. Our support of the Cycle Alert initiative will hopefully help to get more truck operators using the technology which has obvious road safety benefits.”
Neil Marston, Head of Health & Safety, Eddie Stobart – FORS Bronze member
“We understand the importance of keeping abreast of the latest developments in blind-spot technology and see our trialing of Cycle Alert as an intrinsic part of our commitments to refining and leading the way in work related road safety improvements.”
Declan Maguire, Director, Murphys FORS registered member
Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety group (CLOCS)
If you haven’t heard of the Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety group (CLOCS) then please visit www.clocs.org.uk and express an interest in joining the community.
Between 2008 and 2012, 53 per cent of cyclist fatalities in London involved a heavy goods vehicle. A disproportionate number of these were construction vehicles. In 2012 Transport for London commissioned an independent review of the construction sector’s transport activities to understand the causes of these collisions and how they might be prevented.
The resulting ‘Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety'(CLOCS) report was published in February 2013 by Transport Research Laboratory. The report found that:
- Blind spots on construction vehicles could be larger than general haulage vehicles
- Road safety was not considered in same way as health and safety on-site
- There was little understanding of the impact of construction activity on road safety
- There was no common standard for the industry to work to in order to manage work related road safety
In response, the construction logistics industry demonstrated its commitment to change and identified actions under three work streams to improve road safety. CLOCS brings together the construction logistics industry to revolutionise the management of work related road risk and embed a road safety culture across the industry as the UK’s population and economy grows.