Cycling safely

We recognise that cyclists are vulnerable road users. We work with the Police and Fire and Rescue Service to reinforce safety for cyclists. We want all road users to ‘Share the road, Share the Responsibility’. Cyclists can play their part in lawful, responsible and considerate bicycling.

Road safety events

The Road Safety team runs events for cyclists.  We also help distribute hard copies of the city cycle map - which is also available online here.  Hard copies include key safety information.

Brighten up Brighton & Hove

Brighten Up Brighton & Hove campaign  reminds cyclists about the law and bike lights in October each year.  In 2017 in the commute time over 80% of cyclists had effective lights.  We distributed hi-vis/reflective rucksack covers  and basic lights to 400 cyclists who were not prepared.  Over 42% of collisions in the city are because people fail to look/see properly.  As well as the law it is vital that you ensure you can be seen easily on the roads.  This year we're again working with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service in the city, having bought more hi-viz rucksack covers to distribute in the week beginning 22 October. Clocks go back on Sunday 28 October - meaning that the evening rush hour will be in the dark.

Exchanging Places - raising awareness of blind spots.

Exchanging places is a joint venture between the police, our road safety team, HGV businesses and bus companies. (Day Aggregates/Stagecoach/B&H buses/East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service).  The next event is planned for the 22nd Ocotber 2018, from midday to 5:30pm at the Old Steine, near the War Memorial.  We'll also be highlighting the effectiveness of high viz/reflective gear.

Together we're showing cyclists how they can or can't be seen from bus drivers’ points of view. Exchanging Places events are often combined with a week of enforcement beforehand, encouraging cyclists and other road users to minimise their risk on the roads.  Cyclists can sit in the driver's seat of a  bus or truck and discuss with experienced drivers each others point of view.   See what a cyclist found out here and why the bus company are involved here .  If you can't make the event the Metropolitan Police have produced this VR video giving you a seat in the cab.

Limited supplies of high-vis jackets/rucksack covers for cyclists and blindspot mirrors for drivers are sometimes available.  Just turn up and find out how to best position yourself for safety around large vehicles.  We also hope to illustrate the specific difficulties articulated lorry drivers have this year - useful for all road users.

Share the Space, Drop your Pace

The Share the Space, Drop Your Pace campaign is to encourage cyclists to slow down on shared paths for vulnerable pedestrians, and for pedestrians to be aware of cyclists. There will be more events throughout the year.  It is especially important to be careful as some vulnerable people may not be visibly disabled, but can be seriously intimidated by fast cyclists near them.


Safe Pass

We are aiming to run Safe Pass action days with Sussex Police in 2018 to highlight to drivers the need to give cyclists a safe gap when they overtake.  This is 1.5m.  An example of the action taken is shown in this video from Hampshire.  More information is available here.

Safer Urban Driving CPC course for HGV/PCV professional drivers.

With Lancing Driver Training Ltd our cycle trainers deliver the certificate of professional competence module - Safer Urban Driving - which gives drivers the experience of being cyclists on the city's roads.  Infrastructure and other changes are put in context encouraging the drivers  to be more aware of the challenges cyclists face on the roads and what the current training advises cyclists to do  - and why.  In this video the trainer gives an explanation of the course.  It compliments the Exchanging Places activity.  In London, TfL and Crossrail demand drivers have completed this CPC module before the driver works on one of their contracts.  Some of our tender documents for contracts now have this requirement as well.

The Highway Code

Bus, van and lorry drivers cannot see all around their vehicles - the grey sections are the blind spots

Familiarise yourself with The Highway Code rules 59-82 for cyclists.

It contains advisory and compulsory rules for cyclists. In addition, read our advice in the documents below. 

Also avoid riding too close to the kerb and parked cars, where practical.

Cycling in spring and summer

Please ensure your bike is road worthy, particularly if it has been stored outdoors over the winter. See below for links to skills and maintenance training providers, Highway code rules on cycling, signalling, junction safety and blind spots.

Cycling in autumn

The Brighten Up Brighton & Hove campaign will runs each Autumn when the clocks are about to go back.  Visibility is a key issue for cyclists at this time of year. Please use your lights!

Cycling in Winter


  • Warm hands are essential for proper braking, but take care not to impede use of brake levers.
  • Toes remain relatively motionless even while pedalling so wear thicker socks.

Riding in icy conditions

  • Always assume there will be ice after a cold night and start out cautiously. Even if all seems clear, there may be ice hollows in dips or turns.
  • Reducing tyre pressure can give better adhesion on slippery surfaces and is worth doing if there is a lot of snow or ice.
  • Make every move – starting, cornering and braking – gently.
  • Ride in a lower gear than normal. You are more stable pedalling than freewheeling as long as you are not pedalling too hard.
  • If you see ice ahead that you can’t avoid, keep going in a straight line.
  • Skidding can be caused by sudden braking, acceleration or turns.
  • If your back wheel skids, this can often be corrected by easing off power and freewheeling a little, steering straight.
  • If your front wheel skids, try to keep your body upright. If your saddle is low enough you may be able to put a foot down quickly enough to counter the skid.

Snow and slush

  • Fresh, uncompacted snow is easy to cycle through and it can be best to keep to parts of a road not yet travelled by other vehicles.
  • Ridges of ice produced by thawing and refreezing of snow can present serious difficulties. If in doubt, get off and walk.
  • Don not be rushed by traffic, or pushed into roadside slush, but try to keep out of other’s way where possible.

 Fog and mist

  • Use lights as if it were night time.
  • High visibility clothing can be a real benefit.
  • Keep closer to the road edge than usual so you can follow the road and to allow for the fact that others might not see you.
  • Keep your speed down as you will have less warning of potholes and other obstacles.
  • Increase following distances – fog and mist can seriously impair braking.
  • Hearing is important in reduced visibility – do not wear headphones. Listen carefully for the movements of other vehicles.
  • Don’t hesitate to shout or use your bell to alert others of your presence.

Based on Cyclecraft by John Franklin. TSO, Norwich 2007 (4th Edition).
(This is the handbook used by Bikeability Trainers)

Wear a cycle helmet

The Road Safety team strongly recommend the use of a correctly fitting cycle helmet.  Further information is available in a Department for Transport report: The Potential for Cycle Helmets to Prevent Injury: a review of the evidence [652 Kb].


Visibility, particularly in the winter months, is essential for your safety. High visibility clothing and accessories will greatly enhance your chances of being seen at night.  Over 40% of collisions happen as people fail to look properly so it is important to make sure you are visible.  It is recommended that you ride 1 metre from the kerb, where safe, to be seen - especially at junctions.  Overtaking parked cars is also a hazard, beware of drivers getting out of their door.

The law requires cycles to have a white front light and a red rear light with a red rear reflector. You are also required to have amber pedal reflectors if your bike was made after 1 October 1985.

Cycling on pavements

2-kids-on-bikes-nr-hovelawnPavement riding is illegal unless it is a shared use path. Please consider the impact on vulnerable pedestrians (the disabled, elderly and very young) of pavement riding. It is intimidating and an impact could inflict much more serious injuries than you think.  If you do not feel safe cycling at the busiest junctions, dismount and use pavements and crossings to wheel your bike to a point where you can safely resume cycling. Cyclists should only ride on Toucan crossings where red and green lit cycle symbols are shown.

Seafront cycle route

Be aware that many first time visitors to our city may not be aware of the seafront cycle route. There are give way lines for pedestrians wishing to cross. If you are in a hurry, use the road. Find out more about cycling on the seafront


One of the best ways to improve your safety, skills and confidence on a bike is through training.

We provide Bikeablility courses for children and young people and have recently had funding for adult cycle and maintenance training

The Sustrans Bike It officer also works with many local schools, and private providers.

Bike for Life and M’s Cycles also run a range of courses, including maintenance, for adults.

Cycling in Bus Lanes

Cyclists can also use most of the bus lanes.  Some central city bus lanes and corridors (bus/taxi/cycle only roads) do not permit cycling but you will be able to use the road or off road cycle routes at these points. Look for the signs at the entrance to the bus lane. When cycling in the bus lanes, please be aware of the blind spots around buses and other large vehicles. Never undertake on the left side (nearest the kerb).

From May 2012, a trial on the use of bus lanes by motorcycles on two sections of city bus lanes is permitted. This does not include the central city and motorcyclists should not use the Advanced Stop Lines (ASL’s) at junctions.

For more information go to

International cyclists

Below is the cycling safety video Keep Cycling, Keep Safe which was created by Bournemouth University and Bournemouth Council.

Traffic conditions vary greatly from country to country, so the idea of this video is to help keep international cyclists (as well as others) safe on UK roads. The combination of images, graphics, text and voiceover are designed to make it accessible to all students, even those with very basic English.

More general information is available at Sussex Safer Roads Partnership - Safer for Cyclists and cycling in Brighton and Hove.