Gaskells Waste Services are delighted to be shortlisted for The Health and Safety award at the National Recycling Awards 2019 for our ‘Drivers Swapping Eight Wheels for Two” initiative, where our drivers get out of their trucks and onto bikes so they can get a cyclist’s eye view of the dangers vulnerable road users face.

The awards take place in London on Thursday 27th June and will see more than 700 key players from across the UK’s waste industry come together to discuss best practice and innovation within recycling and waste management.

The shortlisted initiative came about as we wanted to make our drivers more aware of the risks of the road for all users and to be able to assess emergency situations and Bikeright UK offered the perfect solution with its Safe Urban Driving course. We also wanted to take a pro-active stance on this as we see so many vehicles with stickers on the back telling cyclists to ‘beware’ but at Gaskells, health and safety is a priority and we think everyone has a part to play in making our roads safer. The initiative involves our drivers sitting a course every Saturday over a month, where they have a classroom session in the morning  along with a practice cycle round the carpark, before being let loose on the roads in an industrial part of Liverpool. This really does give them a feel for what it’s like when trucks go rumbling past.

Denise Banks, Commercial Director at  Gaskells said: “I’m extremely proud of all our drivers, and how they’ve embraced this training.  They all enjoyed the course and are completely on board with the safety aspect. They’re already highly trained, but we think it’s important to do our bit to improve safety for everyone on the roads. All drivers do have to complete CPC training, this is not a compulsory module, however it’s something myself and the drivers are passionate about. The feedback from the drivers was excellent, with one or two even saying they were going to take up cycling, which is great. We’d like to say a huge thank you to Alex and the rest of the team at Bikeright”.

Alex Swan, Office Co-ordinator at Bikeright UK said: “Gaskells have booked many CPC safe Urban Driving Courses with us here in Liverpool long before some companies who were seeking to gain their FORS Silver Award and started to get in touch.The work we have done together to promote safer roads and cycling conditions has been hugely beneficial for their drivers, our instructors and the wider community as a whole. It’s resulted is more drivers attending the courses, meaning safer roads and more awareness of cyclists in general”.

This isn’t the only way we aim to make the roads safer for cyclists. All our fleet is equipped with the groundbreaking Cyclear™ technology from Innovative Safety Systems.  Cyclear™ is a three stage system. comprising of sensors, a loud warning sign, and warning lights explained below:

An internationally recognised bicycle ‘strike through’ sign is automatically illuminated when the vehicle is turning left to stop cyclists travelling down the side of the vehicle.
An audible speaker announces the vehicle’s intended manoeuvre giving a second warning to cyclists.
Sensors located on the side of the vehicle detects when a cyclist or road user is travelling from the rear to the front of the vehicle (undertaking) and alerts the driver with an audible / programmable warning.

All these measures we think are crucial to making the roads safer for everyone, and the whole team at Gaskells is delighted to have been recognised for it by making the shortlist for the National Recycling Awards 2019. Fingers crossed for Thursday June the 26th!