Cycle Aware Campaign Seeks to Reduce Cyclist Casualties

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The danger of riding between the pavement and large stationary vehicles is the focus of a new cycling safety initiative launched this week by Croydon Council.

Cycle Aware Croydon

In Croydon over the past 12 months, more than 100 cycling-related accidents, causing serious or slight injuries, have been reported, one of which resulted in a death.

The danger of riding between the pavement and large stationary vehicles is the focus of a new cycling safety initiative launched this week by Croydon Council.

The campaign seeks to keep riders safe by raising awareness of the risks of being hit by buses and lorries making left turns, particularly at traffic light-controlled junctions.

This area is often a ‘blind spot’ in mirrors, meaning that drivers who are turning may well not be able to see anyone who has ridden up alongside them while they have been waiting for the lights to change

Casualty statistics show that this is a relatively common cause of serious injury, and one which can easily be prevented.

The council is keen to increase the number of people cycling in Croydon, and has improved cycle lanes and put in better bicycle storage facilities at major stations. It also works with British Cycling, which coordinates a number of guided social rides throughout the year. These are set up to help people gain confidence on two wheels. Details of the next ride, on 20 October, can be found at http://www.goskyride.com/Croydon.

“We have 1,200 colleagues working from three offices in Croydon, many of whom choose to cycle to work as a fast, convenient, cost-effective and sustainable means of travel,” says Laura Hague, group safety manager at consultancy Mott MacDonald.

“As an employee-owned business, we take our responsibilities to our staff seriously; their safety and well-being is paramount. We welcome this new council initiative as a positive and proactive method of helping to safeguard our cycle commuters, and we look forward to seeing more ambitious plans to progress Croydon’s cycling agenda.”

From 14 October, campaign banners will be displayed on lampposts, a promotional trailer will be driven around the borough, and stickers and posters will be sent to local business, and placed on vans and lorries.

In Croydon over the past 12 months, more than 100 cycling-related accidents, causing serious or slight injuries, have been reported, one of which resulted in a death.

Councillor Jason Perry, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and transport, said, “Even one fatality is one too many and that’s why this is an important message for cyclists and drivers alike. We want to see more people take up cycling and we want them to stay safe while on two wheels.”

Bryan Smith, owner of Transporta, said, “as a leading transport company, we are acutely aware of the dangers to cyclists who ride alongside our vehicles at junctions. Some of our trailers are over 40 feet long and will effectively close down the whole lane when turning. Any cyclist alongside is taking their life in their hands. We welcome this important new campaign and are delighted to support it.”

More information about the campaign can be found at http://www.croydon.gov.uk/roadsafety.

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Jan James