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Crossrail Wins Road Safety Award

By Krista Eleftheriou

Crossrail has been recognised for its industry leading efforts to make UK roads safer, securing the Safer Vehicles award at the annual Brake Fleet Safety Forum Awards in Birmingham last night.

Europe’s largest construction project was recognised for its work in requiring its heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) to adopt extensive safety equipment, checking that equipment and providing additional driver training.

Crossrail’s rigorous safety requirements for any HGV working on the project is leading to widespread change in the UK haulage industry as vehicles are upgraded with new safety equipment to alert drivers to vulnerable road users.

At an average cost of around £1,250 per vehicle, the additional equipment includes Fresnel lenses or cameras, blind spot detection equipment which warns the driver when a cyclist is in the near-side blind spot and under-run guards to prevent cyclists from coming into contact with lorry wheels. Vehicles must also carry warning signs to alert cyclists and pedestrians of the risks they face by getting too close to HGVs.

Crossrail requires inspections of all vehicles when they arrive at site to ensure that the required safety equipment is working.

During Bike Week next week, Crossrail will train its 5,000th driver in its one day intensive driver training course.

Crossrail also runs a series of Exchanging Places events in partnership with the police, designed to allow cyclists to take to the driver’s seats of HGVs to gain an understanding of blind spots faced by drivers.

Crossrail Chief Executive Andrew Wolstenholme said: “Crossrail is at the forefront of an industry wide change towards making HGVs safer. The haulage and construction industry has invested millions in new safety equipment to meet Crossrail’s safety requirements for HGVs. The benefits are not just confined to London as the majority of HGVs delivering to Crossrail sites also deliver to locations in towns and cities across the UK. The impact of this initiative is clearly demonstrated by organisations in both the private and public sectors now adopting these important safety standards.”

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For further information contact the Crossrail Press Office on 020 3229 9552 or email pressoffice@crossrail.co.uk

Notes to editors:

The contractor requirements concerning HGV safety equipment is contained in works contracts at all levels of the Crossrail supply chain. The costs of fitting the necessary equipment are incurred by the contractor or haulier.

The lorry driver induction training course was developed in consultation with cycling and road safety campaign groups including RoadPeace, London Cycling Campaign (LCC) and Cyclist Touring Club.

Crossrail lorries are required to travel on designated local routes in central London. These designated routes cover both access and exit from sites and are agreed with local authorities under the Crossrail Act.

Crossrail is also working with TfL to ensure all contractors working on the project achieve ‘bronze or higher’ membership of the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS). The scheme encourages safe and sustainable transport operations and each member undergoes a safety inspection and audit.

Crossrail is committed to minimising lorry movements in central London. Excavated material from the construction of Crossrail’s tunnels between Royal Oak and Farringdon is removed by freight train rather than lorry, significantly reducing the level of Crossrail’s lorry movements through the busy streets of London.

About Crossrail

The total funding envelope available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn. The Crossrail route will pass through 37 stations and run 118 km (73 miles) from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km (13 miles) tunnels to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

When Crossrail opens it will increase London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration and cutting journey times across the city. Crossrail services are due to commence through central London in 2018.

Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.