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15 June 2011

Strong Backing for Launch of Mineral Products Association’s National Cycle Safe Campaign to Prevent Accidents between Cyclists and Lorries

The number of cyclists is growing, particularly in urban areas, increasing the risks of collisions between cyclists and motor vehicles, including lorries. On Wednesday 15 June the Mineral Products Association (MPA), the trade association for the mineral products industry, launched its Cycle Safe campaign to prevent collisions between cyclists and Large Goods vehicles (LGVs)at the Metropolitan Police’s ‘Exchanging Places’ event at Wellington Arch, Hyde Park Corner, London.  Transport for London (TfL) statistics show that last year 10 cyclists were killed on the capital's roads and 13 in 2009.

Nigel Jackson, Chief Executive MPA, said: “The health and safety of all those who come into contact with our sector is critical to us and we think it’s the responsible thing to do to try and go for a preventative strategy to avoid any accidents between cyclists and LGVs.

“As an industry that operates some 30,000 lorries, MPA members want to be at the forefront of helping to improve road safety and our 6 Point Action Plan looks at how this can be achieved from driver training, to raising awareness, sharing experience and examining technological features for LGVs. To date, at least 27,500 industry drivers have had cyclist awareness training as part of the Driverskills scheme required by MPA policy.”

MPA’s 6 Point Action Plan for Cycle Safe is highlighted below:

  1. Promote Driver and Industry Awareness
  2. Promote Cyclist and Public Awareness
  3. Improve Driver Training
  4. Encourage Members  to use Appropriate Technological Adaptations to Minimise Risks to Cyclists and Exchange Experience
  5. Liaise with Schools
  6. Work in Partnership

At Wellington Arch, MPA members: Day Aggregates, Brett Group, London Concrete and CEMEX, provided four vehicles to support the Metropolitan Police’s ‘Exchanging Places’ event and the launch of Cycle Safe. Cyclists were given the opportunity to get into an LGV to see what visibility is like from inside the driver’s cab and MPA also distributed free high visibility vests and safety leaflets.

The launch was co-hosted by Nigel Jackson and Chief Inspector Ian Vincent, Metropolitan Police.  Charlie Lloyd, Campaigns Officer, from the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) also supported the event, as well as Stephen Steele, Freight and Fleet Programme Manager from TfL’s Freight Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) and Jenny Jones, AM.

Chief Inspector Ian Vincent said:

“The Metropolitan Police endorse MPA’s Cycle Safe campaign – we are pleased to have the sector’s support for our “Exchanging Places” events in London and welcome MPA’s plans to run events of its own in different parts of the UK.

"With the Mineral Products Association we've actually been able to put four vehicles in together, from four different companies, to highlight the safety concerns for cyclists going down the nearside of large vehicles and it is also heartening to know that all of these companies sign up to educating their drivers around the dangers posed by cyclists going down the nearside, especially at left hand turns. So for us, it is a fantastic opportunity to work together."

Stephen Steele, Freight and Fleet Manager, Transport for London's FORS team, said:

"The MPA has been an absolute stalwart in promoting cycle safety amongst its members - in fact, this campaign today is fully supported by Transport for London."

Charlie Lloyd, Campaigns Officer, London Cycling Campaign, said:

"We get very positive feedback from cyclists getting into lorry cabs (...). People who have done it say they don't realize how high up the driver is or what the other concerns of the driver are - it's excellent training for cyclists.

“LCC are also running a campaign to reduce road danger from LGVs and we support events such as this which provide cyclists with the most accurate and up to date information on riding safely around lorries.  We are keen to work wherever possible with all road freight sectors to reduce road danger.”

Jenny Jones, Green Party Member of the London Assembly and candidate for Mayor of London:

"As somebody who's elected here in London, it's incredibly important for me that London is a safe city to cycle in and I think this is where the MPA campaign can have the most impact. The number of our cyclists is increasing every day so making them safe is crucial for keeping London running."


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