The Give Cyclists Space campaign is a joint initiative between the Plymouth Cycling Campaign (PCyC) and the Association of Professional Driving Instructors (APDI), with the cooperation of Plymouth City Council (PCC).
The idea came from the PCyC members who felt that new drivers were not always aware of the dangers facing cyclists on our roads, and that the people best placed to remedy this situation were the driving instructors.
UPDATE: We are delighted that the President of the AA has joined our drive to include cycle awareness training as part of the learner drivers’ instructions. The AA, which also owns the British School of Motoring, has the two largest motoring schools in the UK, so this is a major step forward in educating new drivers on understanding the needs of cyclists on our shared roads.
When the Campaign contacted the Association of Professional Driving Instructors they were met with an enthusiastic response out of which has grown the current initiative. The APDI welcomes this opportunity to support the Plymouth Cycling Campaign. The APDI members are all professional driver trainers working in and around the Plymouth area who share a passionate interest in road safety and in teaching their new driver students the importance of, and the responsibility they have, in sharing the roads with all other road users.
As part of the process some members of the APDI have undertaken free cycle training. The first session took place on Saturday June 30th and was a great success with an excellent exchange of ideas. Both the trainer and the driving instructors were able to take away plenty to think about. Following the session an invitation was made to the cycling trainer to sit in an instructor’s car when a learner driver is under instruction.
The training is provided by Plymouth City Council under the Bikeability Scheme to anyone that lives or works in Plymouth. This is a great way to increase skills and confidence for cycling on roads. Everyone is welcome and even experienced cyclists can pick up useful tips. Free Bikeability Training is also available to schools in Plymouth and parents should check with their child’s school to see if it is offered. To access the training anyone interested should call 01752 550729 or look up the website www.plymouth.gov.uk/cycling where there is a wealth of information relating to all aspects of cycling.
The Plymouth Cycling Campaign is delighted that the APDI appreciated the part it could play in raising awareness of how vulnerable cyclists were. In accidents involving cars the cyclist will always come off worst, with sadly sometimes fatal results.
The PCyC hopes that the “Give cyclists space” campaign will help motorists to be more considerate towards cyclists. In turn we will be reminding our members that good road manners on the part of cyclists help to promote a positive image of cycling. We all have the right to use the public highway and should behave considerately.
In addition to the above initiative Plymouth City Council has agreed to use their electronic roadside messaging gantries (Variable Messaging Boards) to sometimes display the message “Give cyclists space”.
These schemes are great examples of how the Plymouth Cycling Campaign works with local bodies to help promote cycling safety and improve facilities for cyclists in Plymouth and around.