Sutherland Shire Council becomes the first local government in New South Wales to sign up to the Construction Logistics and Community Safety – Australia (CLOCS-A) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

CLOCS-A is a program that aims to reduce vulnerable road user (VRU) deaths resulting from interactions from construction and waste trucks. CLOCS was developed in 2013 by Transport for London (TfL) following a spate of VRU fatalities and used a major infrastructure projects, €55 billion (approx. AUD$87 Billion) , as a lever to improve the safe interactions between construction trucks and VRUs.

Sutherland Shire Council joins Victorian Mount Baw Baw Shire Council in becoming the second local government to sign onto the CLOCS-A MoU since it was formerly announced in February 2021.

Over the past decade there have been a number of fatalities and serious injuries have occurred within the Sutherland Shire as a result of interactions between construction/waste trucks and VRU, and sees CLOCS-A as an opportunity to help achieve a zero target.

Sutherland Shire Mayor, Steve Simpson said Council was keen to explore ways in which the safety of elderly residents, children, cyclists, those living with a disability and other vulnerable road users could be better protected near construction sites.

“Council recognises the importance of safeguarding some of the most vulnerable members of our community when they are out and about, which is why we were eager to look at ways to better ensure the safety of those at greatest risk near construction sites,” Mayor Simpson said.

“One of the key features being explored through this initiative is providing vulnerable road users the opportunity to explore how our roadways look from the perspective of a heavy vehicle driver – and vice versa – ensuring that both groups are more aware of areas of greatest risk.

“We hope that through taking part in this initiative we can minimise the risk of accidents around job sites and ensure that all road users are more aware of areas of risk when traversing roads major construction projects.”

Recently appointed Chief Executive of Sydney Metro Jon Lamont has been among the driving forces in actively pushing for the CLOCS standards to be adapted into Australia’s largest public transport project, as outlined in the 2020 National Road Safety Partnership Program (NRSPP) CLOCS-A webinar. Prior to Sydney Metro Jon Lamont was Chief Executive of Transport for Greater Manchester and he experienced first-hand the benefits of CLOCS for a local Government.

“That’s when I knew Sutherland Shire Council should support CLOCS being adapted locally.

The development of the CLOCS-A is led by a diverse Steering Group formalised through a MoU currently chaired by the NRSPP consisting of researchers, major projects, industry leaders, VRU associations, and government transport departments.

“This is real leadership. Road safety is shared responsibility and the only way we will see numbers reach zero is by everyone doing their part,” said NRSPP Direct Jerome Carslake.

“Sutherland Shire Council has signed up to the MoU event though there are eight more councils with greater numbers of fatal and serious injuries (FSI) as a result of heavy vehicle and VRU interactions. Sutherland Shire Council did not wait for others to follow but took the bold move to be part of momentum.

“For all local governments with any concentration of cyclists CLOCS-A should be part of the strategy to reduce their risk of becoming FSI. Both SSC and Mt Baw Baw they have demonstrated they want to help shape CLOCS-A.

“CLOCS-A is not about allocating blame but getting industry, VRU groups and government, federal, local and state all working together to better understand each other and how to safely interact,” stated Jerome Carslake.

Australia is undergoing an unprecedented $200 billion major infrastructure build in our cities for at least a decade. And key to its success is trucks, without them none of these can be delivered. This means more trucks on our roads and increased risk of interactions between them and cyclists, pedestrians and motor bike riders. People make mistakes when on the roads and when it involves a truck it is often fatal. CLOCS-A is about reducing the impact of these mistakes such that all road uses are more aware and understanding and tolerant of each other on the road.

There is no cost to join the MoU just a commitment to support it when developed.

Whilst the focus of CLOCS-A is on the construction of large infrastructure projects, local governments have the ability to take it to their local level.

For more information on CLOCS-A please contact Jerome Carslake on 0429 009998 or by email jerome.carslake@monash.edu.