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Travis Perkins training ensures drivers know how vulnerable cyclists are

More than 1,500 drivers of vans and lorries in London have been put through a day of training to make them more aware of how cyclists on the roads feel.

The Travis Perkins employees were given a full day of safety education, which comprised classroom training followed by three and a half hours riding a bike on the road.

1,650 members of staff have been enrolled on the Safe Urban Driving (SUD) course.

Jeff Morris, 63, who drives a 32-tonne lorry, told the Evening Standard: “I was sceptical about the training. However when I did it I was surprised. Cycling with a truck beside you is genuinely scary. I am glad I got to see that for myself and can now play a role in making the streets of London safer for cyclists.”

Ron Searle, the firm’s head of group transport risk and compliance, said the move was part of Travis Perkins’ commitment to road safety.

He said: “The aim of the training is to put drivers in the shoes of cyclists and make them aware of how frightening it is to cycle next to a lorry. It has been hugely successful and we are delighted to make a long-term commitment that puts this at the heart of our training programme for drivers.

“What has been fascinating is that most drivers are initially reluctant to get on a bike. However, when they do it they are vocally supportive, highlighting how useful the exercise was and just how scary heavy goods vehicles can be when on a bike in the drivers’ blind spots.”

Recently we reported how the Department for Transport’s (DfT) THINK campaign came under heavy criticism for releasing a video which appears to blame a cyclist for a collision with a left turning lorry.

The clip, which shows a number of colliding forces in slow motion, including a butcher chopping meat and two rams butting each other, interspersed with snippets of a cyclist riding on the inside of a left-turning lorry, begins with the caption “things you shouldn’t get caught between”, and ends with images of a bicycle crushed under HGV wheels.

British Cycling's  Policy advisor, Chris Boardman, led criticism of the video,  calling it “desperately misguided”, while the Green Party said it made the government appear clueless over road safety, and the message should be for lorry drivers not to put cyclists at risk.

 

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

21 comments

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Guanajuato [80 posts] 6 months ago
19 likes

More of this kind of thing!

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egb [48 posts] 6 months ago
18 likes

Crikey, it's an outbreak of common sense.

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Username [206 posts] 6 months ago
4 likes
Quote:

The aim of the training is to put drivers in the shoes of cyclists and make them aware of how frightening it is to cycle next to a lorry.

Wow. Are they going to close-pass their own drivers? Maybe with some ambitiously late overtakes and subsequent left turns, thrown in for good measure too?

 

An outbreak of common sense indeed. Let's hope the initative doesn't get cancelled when one of the candidates gets injured.

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burtthebike [807 posts] 6 months ago
21 likes

Brilliant intiative from Travis Perkins, and so different from the many people and companies blaming the cyclists for getting in their way.  They are to be congratulated for their far sighted policies which actually will make cycling safer, unlike magic paint, magic hats etc.

I know where I'll be going when I want any building materials in future.

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CXR94Di2 [1586 posts] 6 months ago
10 likes

This should be rolled out firstly the major hauliers, then smaller companies, eventually compulsory training as part of their driving exam.  In fact it should be in all vehicle tests exams, that drivers have spent 2 hours riding on roads in towns and open roads

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ridein [173 posts] 6 months ago
11 likes

Making some progress with this initiative, the next step would be making the course a requirement for anybody seeking a drivers license. 

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hawkinspeter [679 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes
Username wrote:
Quote:

The aim of the training is to put drivers in the shoes of cyclists and make them aware of how frightening it is to cycle next to a lorry.

Wow. Are they going to close-pass their own drivers? Maybe with some ambitiously late overtakes and subsequent left turns, thrown in for good measure too?

 

An outbreak of common sense indeed. Let's hope the initative doesn't get cancelled when one of the candidates gets injured.

I don't think they need to subject them to dangerous driving to get the message across. Big vehicles can be scary enough when driven safely. Fair play to them for trying something positive.

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Phil H [61 posts] 6 months ago
3 likes

Make it mandatory to quality for drivng a truck/large vehicle (white van) anywhere in the country! Fantastic idea!!!

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nadsta [172 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes

Good idea but common sense hasn't reached all their drivers yet. I had the driver of a Travis Perkins flat bed licence FEll UGU pulling across my lane to turn right whilst telling  at me to get out of the way on the corner of Hyde Park Sq at 10:00 on 10/11/16. I'd forgotten to let them know but maybe I'll tweet them after Xmas. They should have a driver log. 

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ConcordeCX [266 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

I thought Travis Perkins was one of those medieval pretenders to the throne who died as a result of some unpleasantness with a red hot poker.

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Forester [124 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

I tink you may have mixed up your Piers Gavestons with your Perkin Warbecks, our equivalent here  are Farwell gravel lorries.

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madcarew [221 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes
Phil H wrote:

Make it mandatory to quality for drivng a truck/large vehicle (white van) anywhere in the country! Fantastic idea!!!

It's probably a good idea for cyclists to spend a day or 2 in the cab of an HGV to see what it is like for those drivers, the way they are treated and the limitations of their vehicles....

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skippy [414 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

 SADLY  at 18th Dec.2016 http://beyondthekerb.org.uk/casebook/cycling-fatalities-2016/  shows 121 Cyclists that did not attend the Xmas Celebrations !  Already 6 more than 2015 !

How many Families will suffer the same fate in 2017 ?

" Travis Perkins " should be able to speak with their " INSURERS "  and seek a reduction of their  " Premiums "?

WHEN other large Transport Companies discover that fact , how QUICKLY will they ACT ?

NOW , it is upto " Travis Perkins " to INSIST that ALL their Suppliers ( Contract & Casual ) that enter their Premises , meet the same STANDARD ! If necessary , also carry a copy of the "Course Certificate  " !

When " ShareHolders see the " Benefits " , will OTHERS follow this lead ?

 

Could be that 2017 will see PEOPLE on BIKES being treated  with RESPECT ? 

 

 

 

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Bluebug [68 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
ridein wrote:

Making some progress with this initiative, the next step would be making the course a requirement for anybody seeking a drivers license. 

The government has better things to do then being taken to court by potential car license holders who drive adapted cars or have other medical issues which means they can't ride a bike.

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velotech_cycling [84 posts] 6 months ago
1 like
madcarew wrote:
Phil H wrote:

Make it mandatory to quality for drivng a truck/large vehicle (white van) anywhere in the country! Fantastic idea!!!

It's probably a good idea for cyclists to spend a day or 2 in the cab of an HGV to see what it is like for those drivers, the way they are treated and the limitations of their vehicles....

I wouldn't be averse to that, although there is an essential difference and that is that if a cyclist makes a mistake around an HGV it's likely to be HGV 1, Cyclist Nil and if the driver of an HGV makes a mistake around a cyclist the score is likely to be ... the same.

As a result, it might be argued that there is an increased level of responsibility on the part of the HGV driver to understand the problems of the cyclist.

It's pretty clear that there are some on each side of the debate that think that they and their colleagues have the right in the argument all the time - but a little mutual understanding and from that, a little mutual respect, would go a very long way.

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Reddleman [18 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

I think it would be useful for any driver to experience life in two wheels. There are many who would not want to (tough), but many more who would have a justifiable reason why they couldn't ride... Maybe a trip in the front if a Bakfiets would substitute. 

 

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Lukas [8 posts] 6 months ago
6 likes

I have expreience in teaching and organising / facilitating SUD (Safer Urban Driving) courses for many contractors in London.

The day follows a predictable pattern, hostitity (why do you lot always go through red lights?) aggression (I'm not doing that, you lot should learn the rules of the road) grudging acceptance, (usually with lots of banter (look at Dave / Bob / Jim he looks a right prick with that helmet on)

And then we take the drivers on - road. It's like  a complete volte face. I have been with 20 stone men, full of tatoos and scars and 'fuck this' attitude absolutely scared witless to practice turning from a minor road to a major road on a bike. (something that we do countless times every day) It suddently dawns on them that FAST moving inconsiderate drivers are scary for vunerable road users. And close passes are frightening. They begin to understand why a trained urban cyclist will ride in the primary position - it is safer and not aimed at 'slowing down' other road users.

And we risk assess every location and we risk assess the route and we are wearing high viz. Imagine, I remind them, how you would feel if  there were no instructors, no risk assessment, no duty of care.

I think this training is very, very worthwhile. Most of the feedback I receive from the drivers who complete the training endorses this.

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don simon [855 posts] 5 months ago
1 like

Well done Travis Perkins.

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monkeytrousers [124 posts] 5 months ago
1 like

Non-Cockney types will be glad to know that the company isn't just doing this in London.

One of our drivers did this course in Milton Keynes and found it very useful. 

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iDavid [52 posts] 5 months ago
1 like

This scheme is most welcome, though in reality it's just another application of the Exchanging Places programme now in daily use by many firms and Councils.

Surely it's time for cycling to be made part of the driving test?

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whobiggs [99 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
skippy wrote:

 SADLY  at 18th Dec.2016 http://beyondthekerb.org.uk/casebook/cycling-fatalities-2016/  shows 121 Cyclists that did not attend the Xmas Celebrations !  Already 6 more than 2015 !

 

Yeah but come on be fair only 7 of them were in london! 

 

Really, I am totally gobsmacked at these figures, it needs to be publicised more