Construction companies and their hauliers have been praised for their "fantastic" response to the issue of cyclist safety by TfL freight development manager Glen Davies.

Speaking at a seminar on cycle safety at the Tip-ex and Tank-ex 2014 shows in Harrogate last week, Davies said TfL had commissioned a report from the Transport Research Laboratory after a spate of cyclist deaths in London between 2008 and 2012, 53% of which involved HGVs - despite trucks making up less than 4% of traffic.

"When we published the report, the industry response was fantastic,"  said Davies. "Sixty organisations joined the Construction Logistics and Cycle Safety (CLOCS) working groups - the industry is driving this forward."

The outcome was the management of work-related road risk (WRRR) standard for construction vehicles, drivers and operators, a common approach that all major construction clients have signed up to, replacing 11 different standards imposed unilaterally by clients such as Crossrail and TfL.

But Davies criticised truck manufacturers for failing to design modern tipper cabs that offered the driver as good a view as modern buses and coaches of vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians. "It is a failure of design if we need six secondary vision aids [mirrors] and still feel the need to fit a camera system," he said. "We need the OEMs to do more rather than have to drill holes in new trucks."

Davies argued that low height cabs with far better visibility are technically possible, citing the Mercedes-Benz Econic and Volvo FE low entry cabs as examples.  Scania was also praised for making efforts to improve the driver's view from its cabs.

But Andy Graves, product marketing manager - chassis at Dennis Eagle, which specialises in making low entry, high visibility cabs for the refuse market, admitted the company did not have a cab suitable for a 400hp tipper - yet. But he cited DfT figures showing how much safer refuse vehicles fitted with low entry cabs are. In 2012, refuse vehicles made up 3.58% of all HGVs on GB roads but were involved in just 2.1% of fatal accidents.

Nick Elliott, national transport manager at Hope Construction Materials, said that as an operator he had take every possible safety measure. "I want to sleep at night and know I have done everything possible to prevent an accident," he said.

Sean McGrae, senior manager - national transport at Lafarge Tarmac, added that the transport industry had to take the moral high ground and put its house in order before  it could go to government and demand better training and compulsory helmets for cyclists.

For Glen Davies' presentation click here TfL presentation for Tip-ex May 2014