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Road Safety

National Clean Air Day - 15th June 2017

Are you thinking of leaving your car at home and cycling to work for Clean Air Day on 15th June? Here are some hints and tips for if you’re cycling for the first time, and some reminders for the more seasoned cyclists among you.

If you’re new to commuting

  • Plan your route carefully and if possible have a practice run beforehand when the roads are quieter, for example at the weekend. You can use the West Yorkshire Interactive Cycle Map to find recommended routes to your place of work

  • If you can, find a buddy to cycle with for the first few journeys until you are feeling more confident. Cycling in a group will also make you more visible to other road users and you are likely to feel safer

  • If you’ve not used your bike for a while, give it a good check to make sure everything is working as it should. If you’re not confident to do this, there are lots of local bike shops who can give it a service for you

  • Work out beforehand where you can park your bike safely when you arrive at work, and think about where you can store your belongings

  • Think ahead and take anything you’re going to need to get ready a couple of days before

  • Training is available and can increase your confidence when cycling on the road. More information about cycle training in Leeds is available on the City Connect website

  • cyclist in leeds city centre

    General advice for cycling

    • Wear suitable clothing – if you’re not going far you might be able to wear your work clothes, but make sure you’re visible to other road users by wearing light / fluorescent items and something reflective if you’ll be cycling when it’s dark
    • If it’s dark or there is poor visibility due to the weather, the law says that you must use front and rear lights. It’s also worth taking small back up lights or spare batteries with you too, just in case!

    • Be aware of what is going on around you. Look ahead for any upcoming obstructions so that you have plenty of time to react, and check carefully all around before making any manoeuvres. Make sure you can hear what is going on too - using headphones can prevent you hearing traffic so it’s safer not to

    • Make your intentions clear to other road users by signalling before turning. Make eye contact with drivers and pedestrians to make sure they have seen you

    • Position yourself appropriately on the road – ride away from the kerb so that you don’t have to swerve to avoid debris or drains and so you have space to move in if you need to. Give plenty of space when passing parked vehicles in case someone who hasn’t seen you opens their door. You might also want to take the primary position in the middle of the lane in some instances (for example if the road is narrow or at junctions) to stop cars trying to overtake you

    • Follow the rules of the Highway Code. Remember that you are sharing the space with a range of different road users – by everyone looking out for each other it can be a more pleasant experience for us all!

    If you are cycling on Clean Air Day, we hope it is an enjoyable and safe journey! Please post about your experiences on Twitter, and tag us at @leeds_highways with the hashtag #NationalCleanAirDay


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