12 January 2016

Safer Urban Driving course hailed a success

A group of professional drivers recently swapped their vehicles for bikes to take part in a new ‘Safer Urban Driving’ course.

The 14 HGV, bus, coach and removals drivers completed the course, the first to be run in the city, as part of their professional training to retain their licences.

The free courses, run by Cycle Confident and Brighton & Hove City Council’s road safety team, are funded by a government grant and available to all HGV drivers for their CPC training.

The course aims to highlight ways motorists can improve their driving in the city. This includes explaining why road layout changes are being implemented and understanding the behaviour of cyclists on the road.  Part of this involves being a cyclist in the centre of the city – an eye opener for many drivers who had not ridden a bike for many years!

Key points include understanding how modern cycle training has changed.  For example, cyclists are now trained to ride in a more assertive position on the road – to be seen more easily (particularly at junctions) and to avoid being hit by a door opening from a parked car.

The council’s Road Safety Officers would encourage all professional drivers to take this kind of training.

Comments from those taking part in the course included:

“I’d not been on a bike for years – I’ve got much more awareness of what it’s like to be a cyclist on modern roads with buses/HGVs around now.”  Peter, Ocean Coaches.

“The course is just as relevant to van drivers as to HGV/PSV drivers, and is very worthwhile.” Deborah, County Clean Environmental

“There seems to be 3 kinds of cyclists – those with no training, those with old fashioned training and those with modern Bikeability training.  I now have an understanding of what kind of riders they are likely to be.”  Julian, Brighton Removals

“The course attempts to, and succeeds, in inculcating a sense of empathy between all road users towards one another. It does this by putting the driver in the shoes of the Cyclist and, consequently, the former becomes more understanding of the latter, creating a safer environment for all."  Dean, Cycle Confident (contractor delivering part of course.)

Four more courses are planned this year, and the next is on January 31..  Free places are currently available to professional drivers working in the city, counting towards CPC accreditation.  For more information contact: keith.baldock@brighton-hove.gov.uk