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Construction bodies urge local authorities to commit to CLOCS

9 September 2020
Image: Dreamstime/Al Robinson

Construction industry leaders of the UK’s biggest professional and trade bodies have written to the chief executives of all local authorities across Britain as well as the 25 metro mayors, urging them to sign up to the Construction Logistics and Community Safety (CLOCS) construction vehicle safety scheme.

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. 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.

In 2018, there were 5,517 people killed or injured by vehicles 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 CIOB warned that the problem was likely to grow, especially since the publication of Boris Johnson’s cycling and walking strategy in response to the transport challenges posed by covid-19. With £2bn 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 its way out of the economic crisis caused by covid.

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, according to Glenigan.

It is this combination of more people walking and cycling and more HGVs on the roads that has sparked calls for action, the CIOB said. 

The letter asks local authorities and metro mayors 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.

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.”

Caroline Gumble, CEO of the CIOB, 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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