Westminster City Council has produced a series of short videos featuring ‘real cyclists’ on the borough’s roads, in a bid to pass on practical safety tips and encourage cyclists to take advantage of free training.
In the series of nine videos, cyclists ride about Westminster on their every-day routes with cameras fitted to their bikes, to capture the scenarios they encounter.
The videos also offer commentary giving practical advice on topics including: mixing with pedestrians; right turns at junctions; negotiating pinch points; cycling around parked vehicles; complex intersections and junctions; and passing stopping vehicles.
The videos are intended to display the practical skills needed in the various situations and to foster a mutual understanding and respect when sharing the road.
Westminster City Council is also encouraging cyclists to brush up on roads skills and increase their confidence on the bike with a free group-to-group or one-to-one City Cycle Course.
The courses, which are open to anyone who lives, works or studies in Westminster, teach the techniques required to cope with traffic, road positioning, signaling and general cycle safety.
While the number of cyclists on roads in Westminster has increased by 20% year on year – and the uptake is predicted to grow further next year – the number of people taking up the free training offer has not increased on a similar scale. While group training for novice cyclists has increased by 20%, the uptake of free one-to-one training has decreased by 15% – a figure described as ‘alarming’ by Westminster City Council.
Councillor Heather Acton said: “We are delighted that more people are cycling in Westminster; our 2014 Cycle Strategy aimed to open the city up to more cyclists and it seems to be working.
“However, it is a real concern that the increase in number of cyclists on our roads does not correlate with the uptake of free cycle training. We’ll continue to urge cyclists to register for our free cycle training so that they feel equipped to enjoy their bikes on our roads in this unique area.”
FOOTNOTE: the videos are being released at fortnightly intervals, the first of which can be seen above. The other videos will be released on the Westminster City Council YouTube channel.