Waste management faces up to the cost of cycling safety

 

 

Cycling is on the rise. According to Transport for London, bicycle use on the main roads of the capital alone grew by 10 per cent last year – and it’s not expected to slow.

 

But what’s good news for bicycle shops and lycra suppliers is a challenge for businesses whose large vehicles share the roads with vulnerable riders.

 

On the streets of London, in particular, safety has become a hot topic leading to the introduction in September of new HGV regulations aimed at protecting both cyclists and pedestrians.

 

Under Mayor Boris Johnson’s Safer Lorry Scheme, vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes entering London must be fitted with sideguards to protect cyclists in a collision from being dragged under the wheels, plus Class V and Class VI mirrors to give the driver a better view.

 

Protecting road users

 

On its launch, the Mayor promised “vigorous enforcement action”, and proposed further rules for bigger side windows in the lower panel of the cab door to give drivers direct sight of anyone cycling alongside.

 

No one argues with the need to protect road users, but the cost of making the roads safer largely falls on the operators – many of whom are HGVs working for waste management businesses doing the vital job of transporting materials for recycling and reuse.

 

The Mayor’s office estimates the cost of fitting cab door panel windows at £1,000. But for companies operating fleets of vehicles it’s a cost that multiplies – and is on top of the further expenses generated by the growing list of regulations.

 

Of course, businesses outside London aren’t immune from these extra costs.

 

In fact, all HGVs are affected by national legislation, and also the industry standards set out by CLOCS – Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety.

 

These requirements can be met through fitting existing fleets or by investing for the longer term with new ready-adapted vehicles, such as those being produced by Mercedes. But whatever option managers choose, there is the unavoidable knock-on effect on cashflow.

 

Asset Finance with Allied Irish Bank (GB)

 

Allied Irish Bank (GB) has first-hand experience of supporting companies to plan, finance and react to these challenges, helping businesses keep the roads safer, and protecting them from financial shocks.

 

One of our clients Powerday, for example, has become a CLOCS champion by complying with the full set of standards and all new vehicles being fitted with a four-way camera system (front, rear and both sides), motion sensors and a reverse and turning warning system.

 

Options to navigate these challenges range from asset finance and business loans to overdrafts and invoice finance.

 

At Allied Irish Bank (GB) we offer all these solutions, plus the support and counsel of specialists who already know the waste management sector and have the time to get to understand their clients, see their ambition and work as a partner to achieve their goals.

 

Asset finance is one of our most popular packages, supplying a tax-efficient and cost-effective route to securing investment of more than £25,000 ultimately to own outright new vehicles, plant or machinery.

 

Agreements can flex between terms of three and five years, require no large outlay, and typically no additional security is required. 

 

Meeting the demands of traffic safety is just one of the challenges waste management businesses face. But with the right finance and support, it needn’t be a roadblock.

 

 

Mark Lockwood

Head of GB Asset Finance

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