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Thu, 24 September 2020

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Professional and trade bodies in the built environment sector call on local authorities to commit CLOCS

Chartered Institute of Building

4 min read Partner content

Construction industry leaders of the UK’s biggest professional and trade bodies have joined the call to local authorities to commit to CLOCS in the co-signed letter that was sent today to all Local Authority Chief Executives across Britain and the 25 Metro Mayors calling for action. The Royal Town Planning Institute, The Chartered Institute of Building, The Institute of Civil Engineers, The Association for Project Safety and Build UK are all backing the campaign.

CLOCS is a national standard that was developed by regulators and businesses together to ensure the safest construction vehicle journeys. It defines actions by planners, construction clients, and principal contractors that are simple to implement and demonstrates ownership of community safety beyond the hoardings.

The call for all local authorities to commit to CLOCS is supported by a film produced in partnership with RoadPeace (the national charity for road crash victims). The film features casualties of incidents involving construction vehicles and highlights the wider impact of collisions.

The risk posed by construction vehicles to vulnerable road users pre-COVID is already significant. In 2018, there were 5,517 people killed or injured by vehicle types used in construction. And over the last five years (2014-2018), a total of 28,325 people walking, cycling and motorcycling have been killed or injured by vehicles commonly used in construction.

The problem can only grow. The recent publication of Boris Johnson’s cycling and walking strategy was in response to the transport challenges posed by COVID-19. The government has recognised that investment in walking and cycling is key in avoiding gridlock on the roads. With £2billion of investment made available to local authorities to fund walking and cycling schemes, the industry is concerned that an increase in people walking and cycling without significant steps to reduce the dangers posed to them could lead to more people being killed and seriously injured on the roads.

Additional cause for concern is that the increased number of people walking and cycling will coincide with increased government construction spend. The current 11% market share by local authorities is likely to rise as government has pledged to ‘Build, Build, Build’ our way out of the economic crisis caused by COVID.

A report from Glenigan has forecast construction over the next two years. Local authority construction projects - schools and social housing - are respectively set to increase 62% and 53% from 2020 levels in 2021, and both by around 5% in 2022.

It is this combination of more people walking and cycling and more HGVs on the roads that has sparked calls for action.  COVID-19 social distancing has already led to immediate increases in people walking and cycling - as much as 300% on some days.

Road safety champions are leading the call for consistent implementation of the CLOCS standard in every county, city and town by writing to all Local Authority Chief Executives across Britain and the 25 Metro Mayors asking them to:

  • Ensure construction procurement requires project teams to meet the national CLOCS Standard
  • Use planning conditions to require all credible-risk construction projects to meet CLOCS Standard and operate effective Construction Logistics Plans
  • Publish progress made in reducing construction related collisions by 2024
  • Co-invest to maximise the individual and collective improvement at minimum cost.

To find out more about the campaign, visit clocs.org.uk/clocsworks

Derek Rees, Programme Director, CLOCS said:

“When councils and industry work together to adopt the Construction Logistics and Community Safety (CLOCS) Standard, we all save lives and money. The CLOCS Standard was developed by over 100 businesses and regulators working together. Over 350 companies and organisations are already CLOCS Champions including leaders from Manchester, London, Cardiff and Liverpool. CLOCS works.”

Nick Simmons, CEO for RoadPeace said:

“The increase in people walking and cycling as we come out of COVID, coupled with increased construction projects, will lead to death and injury if preventative action is not taken. The CLOCS scheme mitigates the threat posed by construction vehicles, and we strongly urge local authorities to commit to it. Unfortunately, at RoadPeace we see the devastation that these road crashes cause, and far too many involve construction vehicles.”

Caroline Gumble, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Building, said:

“The CIOB has long supported the CLOCS campaign, a collaborative effort with construction industry partners to save lives and support community safety. The CIOB is now calling on Mayors and local authorities to join the campaign and take action, committing to help save lives, cut costs and cut carbon. I believe that the construction sector works well when collaborating with the right partners and working with leaders in our communities will help prevent accidents between construction vehicles and other road users. It’s particularly important to collaborate to establish and strengthen measures now to protect road users at a time when school-run and commuting traffic is likely to increase as the new school year starts and many parents return to the office.”

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