Northumberland County Council has committed to championing Clocs across its locality.

The local authority will ensure its own 400-strong CV fleet is brought in line with Clocs standards, and will take steps to move up the different levels of Fors accreditation to achieve this aim.

It also plans to encourage adoption of Clocs throughout its own supply chain, and plans to make this a requirement of all its suppliers by 2020.

Northumberland County Council will work closely with the North East Freight Partnership to help boost operators’ understanding and uptake of both Fors and Clocs in the region.

It urges operators to ensure their workforces take part in a Safe Urban Driving course, which provides defensive driving training and introduces vehicle technologies to help detect the presence of vulnerable road users.

Free of charge courses are currently provided through the North East Freight Partnership.

Northumberland county councillor, Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member for local services, welcomed the decision:  “There is a growing number of cyclists and motorcyclists on our narrow rural roads and a growing number of HGVs. This means the hazard is only increasing.

"Some of our small villages are access roads for quarries and timber operations and have a large number of heavy wagons passing through them. Similarly, our refuse wagons go to every corner of the county with our council staff often needing to manoeuvre the vehicles in locations which are narrow and have poor sight lines.”

In Northumberland, between 2011 and 2016, 33% of cyclist fatalities involved HGVs.

The council said that while it  "cannot enforce the implementation of these standards for all HGVs that travel through Northumberland" it will actively promote and encourage adoption of the standards by other operators: for example to local farmers through the National Farmers’ Union, through planning permissions and through its tendering processes.

Northumberland’s announcement follows close behind Transport for Greater Manchester’s push to promote Clocs across the North-West, with an event taking place later this month for operators to find out more.

The Fors scheme recently signed up its 4,000th member, and last week published its “greenest-ever” version of the standard to focus heavily on mitigating transport emissions.