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Crossrail implements lorry requirements to improve cycle safety

By Ankeeta Munsi

Crossrail implements lorry requirements to improve cycle safety
  • Crossrail contracts contain mandatory requirement for lorries working on the project to be fitted with sensors and other safety equipment to alert drivers of cyclists

  • Requirements  are being implemented with full support of Crossrail’s principal contractors

  • Trixi mirrors are being installed at left-turn traffic signals near Crossrail sites

  • Over 2,000 Crossrail lorry drivers have now completed road safety training

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, 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.



For further information contact Crossrail Press Office on 020 3229 9552 or email [email protected]


Notes to Editors:

The contractor requirements concerning higher HGV safety equipment standards have always been in works contracts at all levels of the supply chain. The costs of fitting the necessary safety 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 (CTC).


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.