Clarks Vehicle Conversions and Carnell Support Services have developed a welfare van that will improve safety of road workers on motorwaysClarks Vehicle Conversions and Carnell Support Services have developed a welfare van that will improve the safety of road workers on motorway lane closure sites.

The two companies worked together to design a van layout that makes it possible for operatives to move between the mid-cab and the rear of the van without having to leave the vehicle directly into the ‘safety zones’ next to live traffic.

Clarks Vehicle Conversions and Carnell Support Services have developed a welfare van that will improve safety of road workers on motorwaysCarnell specialises in maintaining and supporting infrastructure and communications across the UK’s major trunk road network, with many of their staff working in challenging conditions.

They chose Clarks Vehicle Conversions for this project because the 30 year-old company has a long-established reputation in designing and building bespoke van conversions to a high standard.

The Mercedes Sprinter welfare van has an internal partition wall with a door to separate the mid-cab from the rear so both areas are accessible without the need to leave the van.

It will be used by a team of specialists at Carnell who look after drainage systems. Their operators will be able to move from the mid-cab housing an ‘office and welfare area’ to the ‘equipment and exit area’ at the rear.

Clarks Vehicle Conversions and Carnell Support Services have developed a welfare van that will improve safety of road workers on motorwaysIf required, operatives can also exit the vehicle via the rear doors into the middle of a lane closure instead of against the safety zone and next to live traffic.

Martin Parry, Innovations and Business Development Director at Carnell said: “This is a major breakthrough in making lane closure sites safer, not only for our workforce but for road workers across the industry.”

Clarks Vehicle Conversions and Carnell Support Services have developed a welfare van that will improve safety of road workers on motorwaysThe van also has purpose-built storage areas for Carnell’s specialist equipment and two different electrical outputs to power the survey equipment and an on-board computer.

David Healy, Finance and Commercial Manager at Clarks, said: “Carnell came to us with a clear idea about what they needed to achieve and we were keen to meet that challenge.

“Our conversions are designed with transient workers in mind and you can see how this welfare van will not only improve safety but also add value to what Carnell are doing.”

The van conversion is covered under Clarks’ National Small Series Type Approval for welfare vehicles.

Clarks to Fit Blind Spot Technology as Standard

Clarks Vehicle Conversions will fit blind spot detection technology to all of their drive-away welfare conversions as standard to help fleet operators protect vulnerable road users.

Clarks Vehicle Conversions and Carnell Support Services have developed a welfare van that will improve safety of road workers on motorwaysClarks will fit a rear and side camera with a 120° view angle and night vision infra-red to help eliminate a significant blind spot which is often the cause of collisions with other road users.

Brake reports that pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists account for 59% of the UK’s road deaths and serious injuries.

They are encouraging employers with staff who drive for work to make use of technology to minimise blind spots, which are a major cause of collisions between vans and cyclists.

But a survey by Brake and the Licence Bureau found that 8 in 10 companies don’t use blind spot sensors on their large commercial vehicles and 7 in 10 don’t use blind spot cameras.

Clarks Vehicle Conversions and Carnell Support Services have developed a welfare van that will improve safety of road workers on motorwaysPaul Clark, Managing Director at Clarks said: “It’s disappointing that more companies don’t use this technology which could save the lives of many vulnerable road users.

“More than half of Clarks’ staff cycle regularly so from a personal point of view it’s important that as a business we invest in educating drivers on being more cycle aware.”

Live footage from the cameras appears on a small screen on one half of the rear view mirror. The picture shows the side camera position unless the vehicle is in reverse.

The cameras are provided by Backwatch Safety Products – an associate of FORS which promotes cycle awareness among drivers in London and across the country.

Clarks ran a ‘Bright Day’ during Road Safety Week when employees wore something bright, to raise money for Brake and highlight the importance of being seen on the road.