HomeCase studiesExchanging Places, Hackney

Exchanging Places, Hackney

London, Hackney

‘Exchanging Places', initiated by the Met Police and supported by London Borough of Hackney HGV Steering Group, which VolkerHighways is a part of, aimed to tackle the problem of cyclist and Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) related accidents on Hackney's streets, where VolkerHighways was currently providing its fourth year of term maintenance services.

The campaign involved the use of a VolkerHighways maintenance vehicle (HGV) strategically placed near busy junctions across Hackney. Police officers encouraged cyclists to sit in the cab and see first-hand the visibility issues that HGV drivers face. VolkerHighways HGV drivers were on hand to advise cycle riders of the difficulties they encounter, and ‘saddled up' on bikes themselves as part of the initiative to fully understand the vulnerabilities and issues faced by the cyclist.

All of VolkerHighways commercial drivers took part in the campaign, with commercial drivers who passed their test before 1997 first to undergo training.

The bespoke training programme involved half a day of theory training and half a day of practical training spent on and off the roads gaining a more beneficial perspective and mutual appreciation of road space between cyclists and HGVs.

VolkerHighways have been working with the Police to combat this by educating cyclists on the following:

  • The potential hazards they face from other road users
  • The hazard they pose to pedestrians
  • How to abide by the law

The Police stop cyclists who are breaking the law and give them the choice to pay a fixed penalty or to sit in our vehicle and learn about the driver's perspective and blind spots. In one day alone, 40 cyclists were stopped and asked to ‘Exchange Places' with our drivers.

Unfortunately for Hackney, they have a bad track record of fatalities involving pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists. This is reflected by the volume of these groups travelling through the borough. Hackney sees our campaign as a channel to achieve safer roads for all users.

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