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Training for safer lorry driving


Highways contractor enrols driver into safer driving courses

Reducing deaths and injuries key to new Tower Hamlets transport strategy

Tower Hamlets Council is offering training to businesses to encourage safer driving of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

The seven hour Safer Urban Driving course counts towards the Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) and is run by Cycle Confident on behalf of the council. The training incorporates on-road cycling to enable HGV drivers to see the road from a cyclist’s perspective and understand the hazards faced when cycling near larger vehicles.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said: “We want to work with businesses to ensure drivers are aware of hazards and risks on the road.

“It can be very daunting riding behind a heavy goods vehicle but if everyone pays attention and looks out for other road users, we can all stay safe. This training could be invaluable if it prevents another person dying or suffering a life-changing injury in a collision.”

Highways contractor JB Riney is leading by example as its drivers have completed Safer Urban Driving courses.

The Bow-based company, which operates across London, has invested in a fleet of new high-visibility lorries with 360-degree cameras, cycle warning lights and audible turning alarms designed to prevent collisions.

JB Riney is also supported the Metropolitan Police’s Exchanging Places programme which provides cyclists with the opportunity to climb into an HGV cab and see the road from the driver’s perspective.

The training and technology on its vehicles has helped Riney attain a gold standard in the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) which helps improve safety and reduce pollution and congestion on roads.

Steve King, Transport Manager at JB Riney said: “Our drivers found the courses insightful and beneficial to their roles.

“We take work-related road risk very seriously as we are acutely aware of the impact of our fleet operations on other road users, particularly more vulnerable cyclists and pedestrians.

“We’d encourage other businesses to take advantage of the training support to ensure their drivers stay safe on the roads.”

Tower Hamlets Council is currently consulting residents and businesses on its new transport strategy, with the aim of increasing journeys taken on foot, by bicycle and on public transport.

One of the six priorities is to create an environment where people are safe and feel confident to travel in Tower Hamlets.

David Edgar, Cabinet Member for the Environment said: “We’re committed to making Tower Hamlets one of the easiest and safest places to cycle in London and this is a key priority contained in our draft Transport Strategy.

“This training is a practical way we will be working in partnership with businesses to make the borough’s roads safer for everyone.”