All our lives have been affected by Covid-19, causing many of us to choose to cycle, whether for our commute or exercise. This means it’s more important than ever that we take extra care to make sure our roads are safe for everyone. Be observant of any Covid-19 social distancing guidelines that are in place at any time to ensure you and others can travel safely. The links in the bullet points below provide advice for cycling on roads, and for people driving near to pedestrians or cyclists.
Advice for cycling on roads
• Before turning a corner or changing road position, try to make eye contact with other road users and signal clearly with your arm before turning. Be assertive and communicate what you intend to do with your signal. See this video for navigating roundabouts.
• Ride where you can be seen, approximately a third of the way into the lane. Cycle in the middle of the lane to control traffic behind you, e.g. to turn right, pass parked cars or change lanes.
• Cover your brakes with both hands at all times. Braking distances vary under different weather conditions. Expect the unexpected.
• Anticipate which gears you will need before you stop, ready to start off easily again.
• Set your pedals to the “pedal-ready” or “2 o’clock” position when the bike comes to a stop. This will help you push off smoothly and quickly.
• If there is enough space to filter through stationary traffic, you must go up to the right of the traffic – be aware of blind spots, narrowing lanes, long vehicles and changing traffic speed.
• Be predictable. Don’t make any erratic or last-minute movements.
Tips for driving near people cycling or walking
• Look well ahead for people walking or cycling and anticipate their possible actions and look carefully before manoeuvring.
• Drive at a considerate speed. When approaching people walking or cycling, make sure you slow down to give yourself enough time to respond to their actions.
• Keep an increased distance from the kerb when passing people walking, particularly where groups are passing each other from opposite directions.
• Give plenty of room when following or overtaking people on bikes. Leaving a gap of 1.5 metres is considered a ‘safe pass’.
• Be patient. Waiting behind slower vehicles won’t cost you much time.
• Be aware that people cycling may change speed or move out further into the carriageway suddenly to avoid obstacles that you may not have seen.
• Check for people walking and cycling before opening your car door.• Be conscious that many people may be new to cycling and possibly quite nervous.
Havering Council Support
• Whether you’re a first-time rider or a regular cyclist looking to improve your cycle skills, Havering offers free cycle training so sign up for a FREE, tailored course.
• If you are a business, contact us to discuss sustainable travel options for your staff, or check out our guides. You may be eligible for a grant to support suitable travel to and from your work place. And, look out for upcoming Safer Urban Driving course dates.