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FM Conway adapt entire HGV fleet for cycle safety

Company retrofits 144 vehicles to with features and equipment to improve safety for cyclists

FM Conway, operators of one of the largest heavy-goods vehicle (HGV) fleets in London, have adapted their entire fleet to ensure all vehicles have the latest safety measures to provide further protection for cyclists, pedestrians and other road users. 

The completion of the company’s retrofit programme coincides with Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s commitment to fine lorry operators £200 per vehicle if they are not fitted with cycle safety equipment.

The company has successfully adapted 144 vehicles over 7.5 tonnes. Each vehicle is fitted with various safety features, including sideguards that protect cyclists, near-side blind-spot cameras that allow drivers to see real-time images to their left, and seven side sensors that detect nearby objects.

Improvements also include reversing cameras for the blind-spot at the rear of the vehicle, high-visibility signs and strobe beacons, and an audible ‘Turning Left’ warning.

These safety features are complemented by a programme of cycle safety training that all of FM Conway’s drivers have to complete. Drivers undertake the Safe Urban Driving course, sponsored by Transport for London, which includes practical training where drivers take to the saddle on London’s roads, and receive expert tuition on how to share the road safely with cyclists.

Chief executive Michael Conway said: ‘Our approach to cycle safety is two-fold: upgrading our fleet with advanced protection for cyclists, while ensuring all of our drivers have the best-possible training to build awareness of vulnerable road users.

‘Retrofitted equipment can eliminate blind spots, and sophisticated training, especially in London, is already leading to greater awareness and understanding from drivers.

‘We’re fortunate to be in a position that allows us to spend £1,200 fitting our vehicles with the latest measures. However, many smaller contractors and owner-drivers will struggle to do so, even with the threat of a fine, and it is important that the Government provides them with the support they need to fund safety improvements.

‘This could take the form of interest-free loans, congestion charge relief or access to preferred-supplier lists to get best value for money.  

‘We operate one of London’s largest contractor fleets and, while there will always be more work to be done to safeguard cyclists, these direct initiatives are vital for eliminating unacceptable threats to all road users.’

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