New campaign to help cyclists gear up for winter and boost road safety
Cyclists in the Square Mile are being offered free lights as part of a new road safety campaign being launched next week.
As the nights draw longer, “Dark nights – free lights” is designed to encourage cyclists who live, work or travel through the Square Mile to carry lights and ensure they are visible to other road users.
The campaign is being delivered through the City of London Corporation’s Active City Network, and the City of London Police, Thames Tideway and the Metropolitan Police.
Events will be held on Blackfriars Bridge in the morning and evening of Monday 29 October – the first working day after the clocks go back a day earlier. The first 250 cyclists to attend the morning event (07:00-09:30) will be offered free lights, a free brake check and fresh fruit.
Those attending the evening session (17:00-19:00) will also be offered free lights, reflective vests and backpack covers. The City of London Police will be offering bike marking to prevent theft, while the Metropolitan Police will display an innovative virtual reality kit to allow cyclists to see what a driver sees and the blind spots to avoid.
Alison Gowman, City of London Corporation representative on the London Road Safety Council and Chair of the Active City Network, said:
“More than 500,000 workers commute into the Square Mile every day so ensuring road safety is a top priority. As a growing number of City workers choose to cycle, it is important that they take steps to ensure they can be seen by other road users in the dark.
“This campaign will help cyclists stand out in the dark, wintry nights over the coming months. Our ultimate aim is to prevent accidents and ensure the City’s streets are safe for all.”
Inspector Paul Doyle, from the City of London Police’s Transport & Highways Operations Group, said:“It’s easy to get caught out when the weather changes or the clocks go back and be left without the right equipment.“It’s really important that all road users remember how to stay safe but also legal when travelling through the City.“Ensuring you can be seen is a crucial part of keeping yourself and other road users safe and preventing accidents from occurring.”The City of London Corporation’s dedicated Road Danger Reduction team and Planning and Transportation Committee have made great strides in making the Square Mile’s streets safer and more accessible for cyclists.
These improvements have included building segregated cycle lanes, implementing a City-wide speed limit of 20mph, Cycle Superhighways and Quietway Routes.
Schemes at dangerous junctions have delivered very positive results, such as the £23million regeneration of Aldgate Square, the now permanent safety scheme at Bank junction and the Holborn Circus Area Enhancement project, which saw crashes involving cyclists reduced by 91%.
The City Corporation has committed to reducing road danger to create healthy streets where people want to walk, cycle and use public transport as part of the Mayor of London’s Vision Zero Strategy.
Notes to editors
The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk
To preview the virtual reality footage, visit: https://www.activecitynetwork.com/events/dark-nights-get-lights-for-your-bikes