HS2 rail project sparks surge in demand for SM UK safety technology

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SM UK has seen a surge in orders for its on-board vehicle safety technology from contractors working on the HS2 rail line project.

The Leeds-based company expects to take more than 150 new orders this year from contractors.

SM UK, whose offering includes its Halo cyclist detection system, has been accredited by the Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS) to help fleets improve safety standards in line with regulations.

Vehicles working on HS2, Crossrail and other government projects must meet FORS safety standards before contractors can be appointed to work on the schemes.

Steve MacDonald, managing director of SM UK, said: “We saw a steep escalation in the number of orders in the last couple of months of 2018, and the demand is already increasing again as we start the new year.

“Our Leeds conversion centre and team of auto engineers are equipped to deal simultaneously with multiple fit outs, and we are likely to be recruiting new staff in the coming months if the HS2 momentum continues, as we fully expect it to.”

He added: “There is also a growing trend among smaller, local companies to invest in vehicle safety systems in order to bring them up to the gold, silver and bronze FORS standards.

“From what our SME clients tell us, they are aiming to keep up with their larger competitors: the big firms are in effect becoming vehicle safety influencers for small businesses.

“Ultimately this means that our roads and construction sites are becoming safer, with more HGVs fitted with safety systems that give the driver 360 degree visibility, and warn pedestrians and cyclists when vehicles are turning.”

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