Crowds at London's 800th Lord Mayor's Show had a glimpse of the latest cyclist and pedestrian-friendly road transport technology in the form of an 18-tonne Mercedes-Benz Econic 1830 skip-loader.

Basil Vinnicombe, head of special products at Mercedes-Benz Trucks, said: 'We're delighted that one of our Econics was chosen to take part in the 800th Lord Mayor's Show.

'As well as offering the outstanding build quality, efficiency, environmental compatibility and comfort for which Mercedes-Benz vehicles are renowned, this ground-breaking vehicle also reinforces our reputation as a leader in the quest for road safety.'

With its low-height, fully-glazed cab providing unparalleled visibility to the front and sides, the Econic is well suited to operation in busy town and city centres. The relatively low seating position means drivers sit at the same level as pedestrians and cyclists and have unimpeded cross-cab vision, so they can easily make direct, eye-to-eye contact.

The Econic is now being marketed to the construction sector where Econic-based tippers, mixers and skip-loaders offer significant safety benefits for operators seeking to reduce the risk of one of their vehicles being involved in a potentially fatal collision with a cyclist or pedestrian.

But the high-tech vehicle was in marked contrast to another four-wheeled vehicle or show, the Lord Mayor's gold, 350-year-old state coach, as well as to the ranks of pikemen who guard it.

Guildhall Yard represents the 'start point' for the Lord Mayor's coach ' it was here last July that an Econic-based High Visibility Safety Truck was presented at the ancient Cart Marking ceremony by the Worshipful Company of Carmen.

In 1215 King John was persuaded to issue a Royal Charter that allowed the City of London to elect its own Mayor. Since then every newly-elected Lord Mayor has left the safety of the City and travelled through the winding medieval streets of the Square Mile to Westminster to swear loyalty to the Crown.