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MPA Exchange events focus on cyclist safety and biodiversity

Association hosts ‘very positive’ exchange sessions with stakeholders on two critical policy areas

THE Mineral Product Association (MPA) recently held two ‘Exchange’ sessions with stakeholders on critical, albeit very different, policy areas – cyclist safety and biodiversity – in order to gather views, share experiences and inform policy development.

The Member Cycle Safe Exchange, attended by a wide range of member companies from SMEs to global businesses, explored what the MPA and its members can do to reduce the risk of collisions between industry delivery vehicles and vulnerable road users such as cyclists.

MPA chief executive Nigel Jackson said: ‘Improving driver and cyclist safety is at the heart of our ‘Cycle Safe’ campaign, which we launched last year. Our sector is committed to playing its part in minimizing hazards and risks for all road users. I am really pleased at the number and breadth of members who supported this event to look at ways of tackling this long-term challenge.’

Subjects explored included: the comparatively high rates of cyclist fatalities and serious injuries in collisions with lorries; ‘The Times’ newspaper’s ‘Cities fit for Cycling’ campaign; and how to improve driver awareness, such as the MPA’s ongoing work with training providers to develop a specific CPC-approved module on cyclist safety and vulnerable road users.

In addition, members’ experience of technological equipment designed to improve visibility around a vehicle was discussed, with a view to developing a minimum standard or recommendations for members.

Opportunities to promote mutual awareness between drivers and cyclists through, for example, the Metropolitan Police’s ‘Exchanging Places’ events were also highlighted. Several MPA members have been supporting the Met’s events as well as organizing their own events in schools.

The session closed with an examination of next steps for the MPA.

The second session, the MPA Biodiversity Exchange, hosted by the Association’s Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Group at Attenborough Nature Reserve, in Nottinghamshire, was aimed at both members and external wildlife and conservation organizations.

Ken Hobden, the MPA’s director of mineral planning, said: ‘Biodiversity promotion and monitoring at mineral sites is a key issue for our members, who already have a proven legacy of high-quality biodiversity enhancement through site management and restoration.

‘We want to encourage the good work and find further ways to realize the unique position and potential of this industry to contribute to UK Biodiversity Action Plan targets. This Exchange is an ideal way to gain input from conservation bodies and develop indicators.’

The Exchange focused on the best way of working with local communities and NGOs to help monitor and report biodiversity on minerals sites, and explain how members can make the most of relationships with stakeholders to better understand their contribution to the Government’s 2020 Biodiversity targets.

To mark the occasion the MPA officially launched its Biodiversity Exchange Twitter, which aims to share ideas on biodiversity (!/quarry_nature).


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