Cyclist awareness workshop with bus drivers held in Newcastle – press release


Newcastle Cycling Campaign and Newcastle City Council joined forces with the city’s major bus operators and hosted the first ever cycling awareness workshop on 27 June 2012, to improve safety on our streets.

Campaign chair Katja Leyendecker: “Talk to cyclists and they’ll tell you that tensions on our roads are on the up. Any preventative measure to alleviate this must a good thing. Alongside asking for safe space for cyclists, we want to start a road user debate. “

Campaign member Tanja Cooper and event organiser: “The management of all major bus operators in Newcastle – Arriva, GoAhead, Nexus and Stagecoach – fully supported the workshop. An evenly split group of 20 cyclists and bus drivers and managers attended. There seemed to be a little apprehension in the air at the start, but this turned very quickly into a rather lively, good natured and constructive discussion.

“Everyone joined in and both sides gave advice and we learned how to watch out for each other in future. The Campaign’s very encouraged by the level of support and interest from Newcastle City Council and Newcastle’s bus operators. We had nothing but positive feedback. We are now thinking of regular workshops. A joint bike has also been mooted.”

Campaign member Claire Prospert, attending the workshop: “I ride my bike in the city centre every day, making use of the no-car lanes. Sharing space with bus drivers can be scary so it was good to hear that all agree about the importance to give space and reduce speed when overtaking cyclists. Both parties also recognise that the road infrastructure needs improvement, in particular around junctions, for the benefit of everyone’s safety.”

Karl Rowe from Arriva says “As both a bus driver and a cyclist I found the meeting extremely useful in highlighting ways in which I can play my part in helping to keep both cyclists and myself safe on the roads in Newcastle. It was exciting to see both what is available for the Newcastle cyclist and how seriously our safety on the roads is being taken, and will be passing on what I learnt to my colleagues back at the depot”.

Andrew McGuinness, Nexus: “This was a very useful new event making it possible for cyclists and bus drivers to talk about the roads they share, creating a safer and smoother journey for everyone.”

Sid Jasper, Go North East: “Be very aware of the cyclist and the environment in which they operate in, city centre traffic and country roads, at junctions and roundabouts; drivers should use blind spot and mirror checks. Avoid covering extended stop line areas at traffic lights and remember to show courtesy to vulnerable road users: THE CYCLIST!”

Contact Katja Leyendecker 07828 60 4349

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