Berendsen, provider of textile and laundry services to hotels and hospitals across the UK, has paved the way to improved road safety for cyclists and pedestrians in the capital by investing in a successful pilot project at its Merton site.
As part of the project, Berendsen worked alongside a leading telematics solution provider to fit a number of its heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) with reliable and effective safety equipment. This included side and rear view cameras that are linked to an in-cab monitor enabling the driver to view live images of the road users around him or her. Furthermore, audible warning pods were fitted to both sides of the vehicles. When a driver signals to turn either left or right the audible pods warn other road users, informing them via a short pre-recorded voice message that the driver intends to turn.
Road safety is a key concern in London, and in 2013 14 cyclists were killed in accidents, nine of which involved HGVs. As well as new safety equipment, Berendsen, which relies on HGVs to transport large volumes of linen around the capital, provides its drivers with frequent training and safety briefings on how minimise risks to other road users. Following the successful trial period, the laundry services provider intends to roll out the safety technology across the fleet of vehicles at its facility in Merton, which washes over two million pieces of linen a week from hotels within London and the surrounding areas.
“Combined, drivers at our busy Merton site can cover 7000 miles a day in and around London, so promoting safe driving and awareness of other road users has always been a priority for Berendsen,” said Tom Bush, logistics manager. “We've invested in some of the latest technology to boost the measures that we already had in place and we've been pleased with the positive feedback that we've had from our drivers as a result. We'll continue to make improvements where we can and a key aspect will be to ensure that we're consistently assessing and enhancing our training so our drivers are armed with the skills and knowledge they need to continue sharing the road safely with other users.”