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Labour’s HGV Safety Charter wins few friends

  • 06 December 2013
  • By Chris Druce

Construction firm Lafarge Tarmac has said that while safety standards need to be improved across the sector, Labour’s HGV Safety Charter, launched last week, “highlights the impracticalities of multiple standards and approaches”.

Labour’s voluntary charter calls for nine different pieces of safety equipment for every UK LGV to be introduced by June 2014 (alongside sidebars, blind spot elimination devices and audible warnings by December 2017).

Labour would likely make this mandatory if it comes to power in 2015. CM technical editor David Wilcox has calculated the cost of the equipment at a minimum £2,200 per truck, and more for tippers where it isn’t already fitted.

Lafarge Tarmac already has many of the proposed safety features on its vehicles.

Senior national transport manager Sean McGrae said that while the Labour charter highlighted an important issue, it believed its focus was best placed elsewhere. “It would be wise to focus energy on supporting the new unified standard for work-related road risk being launched at City Hall next week by Sir Peter Hendy,” he said.

The Freight Transport Association’s Christopher Snelling said Labour’s charter was a potential “distraction”. He added that come publication of TfL’s construction standard next week, it would likely become irrelevant too.

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