Infrastructure projects significantly increase the number of heavy vehicle construction related movements within the existing road networks. Within a city environment, the increased heavy vehicle movements also increase the risk for interactions between these vehicles and vulnerable road users. As a result, the additional vehicle movements and often complex transport related logistics for these projects can increase the risks for vulnerable road users if not managed well.
Within the United Kingdom (UK), between 2008 and 2013, 55 per cent of cyclist fatalities in London involved a heavy goods vehicle. A disproportionate number of these were construction vehicles. In 2012 Transport for London (TfL) commissioned an independent review of the construction sector’s transport activities to understand the causes of these collisions and how they might be prevented.
The resulting ‘Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety’ (CLOCS) report was published in February 2013 by Transport Research Laboratory. In response to this report, the construction logistics industry demonstrated its commitment to change and identified actions in order to improve road safety which led to the establishment of a single standard.
Since the launch of CLOCS, the program and single code of practice has been identified as a world leading approach. CLOCS has expanded beyond London and across the United Kingdom (UK) due to its recognised benefits and evaluated success. The quality and standards of vehicles within the CLOCS program is maintained through TfL’s Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS).
Within Australia a number of major city-based infrastructure projects are underway and those responsible for these projects are equally concerned about the risk for heavy vehicle and vulnerable road user (VRU) interactions. Currently Sydney Metro and Victoria’s Major Transport Infrastructure Authority (MTIA) are leading Australian examples that have both individually applied portions of the CLOCS program to city projects.
The National Road Safety Partnership Program (NRSPP) has formed a Steering Group (SG) to adapt CLOCS to the Australian environment and provide a consistent approach for infrastructure construction projects to mitigate VRU risks.
By establishing CLOCS locally, infrastructure projects that identify an increase in risks to VRU arising from their projects would only have to refer to the CLOCS-A code within contract specifications; learnings are able to be shared as they occur; collaboration can occur on key issues; and ensure the standard remains aligned with world’s best practice through biannual video conferences between CLOCS and CLOCS-A. Without such an approach, as an example, contracts relating to heavy vehicle specifications would be locked at the time of signing whereas a CLOCS-A reference can ensure safety specifications can evolve.
The SG is seeking to be a catalyst that will guide the establishment of CLOCS-A which operate nationally benefiting industry, the community and government. To achieve this, the SG will identify an organisation to deliver CLOCS-A, and when such an organisation is identified the management of CLOCS-A will be transferred as will the MoU.