Haulage firm to deliver cycle safety message

111645-3672 RTC CYCLISAT HILSEA (CO) MRW 5/5/2011''The scene of a Road Traffic Collision at the junction of London Road and Northern Parade Hilsea between a cyclist and the tractor unit of a Heavy Goods Vehicle '''Picture: Malcolm Wells (111645-3672)

111645-3672 RTC CYCLISAT HILSEA (CO) MRW 5/5/2011''The scene of a Road Traffic Collision at the junction of London Road and Northern Parade Hilsea between a cyclist and the tractor unit of a Heavy Goods Vehicle '''Picture: Malcolm Wells (111645-3672)

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A haulage firm is to teach its staff about cycle safety in a bid to cut the number of accidents between lorries and bikes.

Knights of Old, which is based in Kettering, is to hold workshops for its staff on road safety, nutrition and fitness after it started sponsoring the Metaltek-SCOTT Professional Cycling Team.

Managing director Ian Beattie said: “We recognise that we have a responsibility to look after our staff, the local community and all road users and by joining forces with a professional cycling team we gain expertise and a greater platform to generate interest, discussion and positive results.

“Unfortunately, more accidents between cyclists and trucks are happening but through training and raising awareness on both sides we hope to be able to make a difference.

“We recognise that this will be a challenge and it will take time and effort from everyone, not just Knights of Old and Metaltek-SCOTT.”

The company also hopes to start offering workshops on cycle safety to local schools from April.

Mr Beattie said: “The interest from the schools has been great.

“They too have the same items on their agendas and by working with local companies and a professional team the topics get covered in a different way which is more interesting for the children.”

John Cutler, county representative for CTC, the cycling organisation that created the first cycling proficiency test, said: “It’s welcome news.”

Mr Cutler said Knights of Old was following the example of firms in London, where more lorries have to share urban roads with cyclists.

He suggested the haulier models the London schemes, which sometimes involve drivers going out on the road on bicycles.

He said: “When there is an accident with an HGV and when it hits the cyclist there is almost always a casualty.

“It’s welcome that the drivers should be more aware of cyclists.”