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Councillor knocked off bike while cycling to road safety meeting welcomes HGV measures

Since 2020, four cyclists have been killed in collisions with the driver of an HGV in Oxford, with more requirements for developers of construction sites now to be introduced

Oxford City Council has signed up to the Construction Logistics and Safety Standard (CLOCS) requiring developers of construction sites to plan their HGV journeys to avoid busy or high risk areas, such as around schools at home time.

The council hopes the measure will tackle cycling fatalities, four of which have been caused by collisions involving HGVs being driven in the city since 2020, and has been welcomed by Oxford councillor Trish Elphinstone who was left bloodied and bruised after being struck by an alleged hit-and-run driver in a bike lane on Friday while she cycled to a road safety meeting.

Ms Elphinstone said the incident was "ironic" considering her destination and, although her collision was caused by the driver of a car, told the Oxford Mail the HGV measures would be "welcome news to pedestrians and cyclists; especially as recent deaths are linked to HGVs". 

In September, an unlicensed HGV driver was jailed for eight years for killing Dr Ling Felce who was cycling at a notoriously dangerous roundabout in Oxford when the driver, under the influence of cocaine, fatally struck her with the tipper truck he was driving.

Dr Felce's death came just weeks after a fellow university worker, Ellen Moilanen, was killed in a collision with a lorry driver on the A4165 near Oxford Parkway station, prompting Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran to urge the government to urgently help make the city's roads safer for cyclists and "avoid any more senseless deaths".

> "One month, two dead cyclists": Oxford's cycling city sign defaced after second death

In November the roundabout where Dr Felce was riding, used by around 12,000 cyclists each day, underwent works, including amendments to road markings and traffic signs, installation of road studs, bollards and cycle stands, installing light cycle lane segregation units, and vegetation clearance.

"There are major loopholes that we are very worried about"

Commenting on the council signing up to CLOCS, Jamie Clark of Cyclox said he is concerned the authority has only committed to "encouraging larger developments to include the more rigorous CLOCS Standard in their construction logistic plan".

"It is great the city council has embraced CLOCS but we are very worried that their commitment is weak in the way it has been worded," he said. "The University of Oxford has made this scheme compulsory for contractors, whereas the city council appears to be making it voluntary and only for larger developments.

"There are major loopholes that we are very worried about."

He explained that the commitment does not include delivery vehicles and "there is a lot more to be done", something Green Party and Oxford City Councillor Emily Kerr agreed with.

"Oxford's getting safer for cyclists and we are seeing more people switch to cycling — but it's still not safe enough," she said, pointing out that HGVs represent a "small proportion of traffic, but they cause a majority of cyclist fatalities".

"We are happy to discuss these matters with Cyclox"

"Where we are the contractor on an individual development, we will also make the CLOCS Standard compulsory," an Oxford City Council spokesperson said. "But where we are the planning authority, and making decisions about a third-party's planning application, different legal powers apply.

"In that case, the city council will continue to require that all large developments have a Construction Traffic Management Plan, but now will be aiming to include the CLOCS Standard as part of that planning condition.

"That has to be done with the agreement of the planning applicant, but we believe, based on current experience with Construction Traffic Management Plans, that applicants and contractors will be more than happy to sign up.

"Full details of how the CLOCS Standard will impact the planning applications and construction vehicles of large developments will be drawn up by the city council over the coming months. We are happy to discuss these matters with Cyclox."

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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13 comments

Avatar
Car Delenda Est | 10 months ago
4 likes

HGV companies should be charged extra road user levy, that's actually equivalent to the wear and tear they cause relative to cars, when they go off local government approved 'freight roads'.

You wouldn't run a freight train down a school road so why is it ok to do it if the freight, and weight, is on a lorry?

Avatar
Jenova20 replied to Car Delenda Est | 9 months ago
0 likes
Car Delenda Est wrote:

HGV companies should be charged extra road user levy, that's actually equivalent to the wear and tear they cause relative to cars, when they go off local government approved 'freight roads'. You wouldn't run a freight train down a school road so why is it ok to do it if the freight, and weight, is on a lorry?

 

It's highly likely they're already paying more than the average driver because of VED.

Avatar
ChuckSneed | 10 months ago
0 likes

Having had my fair share of near misses, and two accidents leading to a fractured leg and broken wrist respectively, with HGVs, I have learned to just keep my distance. They don't care, so why would I put my life in their hands?

Avatar
brooksby replied to ChuckSneed | 10 months ago
2 likes
ChuckSneed wrote:

Having had my fair share of near misses, and two accidents leading to a fractured leg and broken wrist respectively, with HGVs, I have learned to just keep my distance. They don't care, so why would I put my life in their hands?

What do you do when one overtakes you and pulls alongside?

Avatar
NotNigel replied to ChuckSneed | 10 months ago
6 likes

You wouldn't have had any problems with fractures and broken bones if you'd laid off the steroids.

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Steve K replied to NotNigel | 10 months ago
4 likes
NotNigel wrote:

You wouldn't have had any problems with fractures and broken bones if you'd laid off the steroids.

Chapeau

Avatar
Car Delenda Est replied to ChuckSneed | 10 months ago
3 likes

Weren't you here yesterday arguing in favour of 'vehicular cycling' and against dedicated cycling infra? 🤔

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HoldingOn | 10 months ago
2 likes
Quote:

used by around 12,000 cyclists each day

That is an amazing amount of cyclists!

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HoldingOn replied to HoldingOn | 10 months ago
6 likes

I may have just spent the afternoon watching cycling videos of Oxford.
I cycle for an hour every day and I doubt I see a dozen other cyclists.
This is fascinating!

Sorry - distracted by all the people not driving. Great to read they are trying to do something to fix a problem. Shame it takes someone being killed. (also good to see the councillor back at work after being knocked from her bike)

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chrisonabike replied to HoldingOn | 10 months ago
1 like

12000 cyclists a day sounds a huge amount - the touted "busiest cycle path in the Netherlands" (Vredenburg in Utrecht) was only estimated at 20,000 per day and it looks pretty wild!  (Edit - apparently more like 35,000 in another estimate - so they're trying to create more alternative routes to lower that number).

Must have a look anyway.  If you haven't used up all your time there's Cambridge also - Streetfilms did a look around there over 7 years back.

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HoldingOn replied to chrisonabike | 10 months ago
0 likes

Speechless. I counted on my way home - 4 other cyclists in 12km.
That video is 7 years ago as well. Brilliant.

Anyway - sorry again. I feel I have hijacked a news story over a single line, that isn't even particularly important to the story!

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HoldingOn replied to chrisonabike | 10 months ago
0 likes

Just been reading about the Cambridge Dutch roundabout
Imagine 12,000 cyclists on it every day!

I've been showing that Streetfilms video to people in work (yeah - I'm that guy) I like the shot of all the bikes parked outside the shopping centre. I can only imagine how many more bikes there are now, 7 years later. I am genuinely astounded.

Do most people on here cycle with those kinds of crowds? Do I live in a cycling black hole?

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chrisonabike replied to HoldingOn | 10 months ago
3 likes

Well I went to Pedal on Parliament last Saturday so of course!

In Edinburgh there is as you might expect a very uneven distribution of cyclists, both by day / time and also area.  Obviously where people cycle on roads the volume and speed of motor vehicles makes a big difference.  But pick your time and you won't necessarily be overtaking someone else cycling on one of the paths either.

Previously I thought of this place as a pretty cycle-friendly location for the UK.  Check the modal share though, and it seems the overall modal share for cycling in Edinburgh was 4% per cent (as reported here appendix 1 table B - document from 2021, not sure when the figures are from).

We've a ways to go.  Edinburgh is hilly in places, and "we have weather" (everywhere has weather by the way, some much more than others...) but a lot of the place is very suitable for casual cycling.

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