State of the art vehicles are safer for pedestrians and cyclists says haulage firm Mick George
- Credit: Archant
A haulage firm has become the first outside London to use revolutionary vehicles that make it easier for drivers to see cyclists and pedestrianss.
Mick George has commissioned the Mercedes-Benz Econic construction vehicles to spend much of their time working in and around Cambridge.
Transport manager Joe Gossage said the panoramic windscreen, full-height glazed passenger door and low seating position let drivers make direct eye contact with cyclists and pedestrians at junctions and in traffic.
“The enhanced field of vision which this vehicle offers will be a real advantage to our drivers when navigating through cities or in complex situations, while its two-step, low entry minimises the possibility of injury when accessing the cab,” he said.
“The safety of our staff, communities, clients, contractors and the people we work alongside is of utmost importance.
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“It further underlines our determination to minimise the risk to vulnerable road users.”
Mick George invests heavily in the training of its drivers, he added, all of whom receive practical and classroom-based instruction that focuses specifically on the protection of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
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One element of the programme entails drivers getting on bikes themselves, to gain a cyclist’s perspective of what it is like to ride in heavy traffic.
Mr Gossage added: “Low-entry, high-visibility vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz Econic will play an important part of our road transport operations future.
“Having made such a significant investment in these vehicles, we hope they will prove viable for future procurement decisions and can be rolled out to some of the other areas in which we operate.”
The vehicle offers significant safety advantages in a university city where, it has been estimated, one in five journeys is made by bike, many of them by students, he said.
“Mick George has a number of partnerships in Cambridgeshire, including a high-profile, five-year waste collection and disposal agreement signed recently with The University of Cambridge.”