County shines light on its pioneering road-safety work

Kate Cairns
Kate Cairns

For the second time in a few months, Northumberland County Council has presented at a national conference to spread the message about the pioneering safety work it has undertaken to manage the risk of collisions between HGVs and cyclists/pedestrians.

The authority is one of the first in the UK to introduce safety standards that have been designed to help improve driver skills and competence, as well as visibility from the vehicle cab.

The county council’s adoption of the national CLOCS (Construction Logistics and Community Safety) standard was instigated by ex-councillor Kate Cairns, who has campaigned on this issue since her sister Eilidh was run down by a tipper lorry in London in 2009.

Kate proposed improving council performance in early 2016 and led this through the committee process.

Now the council is an exemplar local authority in managing HGV risk through the three strands of fleet management, planning and procurement.

At the start of the month, a county-council officer presented at the TipEx event in Harrogate. It followed an invite to London’s ExCeL Centre in March, where Kate and a council colleague presented to an event with hundreds of attendees.

They spoke about the implementation and wider adoption plans.

Kate, who lost her Longhoughton seat in May’s elections, said: “I am proud to be able to leave a legacy of safer HGVs for communities of Northumberland, but also that the county council is now leading this on a national stage.”