One of the main reasons that people say that they don’t or won’t cycle is because of concerns about road safety. Whilst traffic free, segregated routes are welcomed by cyclists, these are not available in all parts of the Borough. Cyclists will frequently need to cycle on roads with other vehicles for all or part of their journey. It is therefore important that cyclists are equipped to cycle on the road, are confident and have good bike handling skills. Cycling charities including The Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC), Sustrans and British Cycling are able to provide further advice.
It is important that cyclists and drivers look out for each other on the road. The Department for Transport THINK campaign has set out a series of tips, to remind both drivers and cyclists about the correct way to drive and ride, and therefore help to reduce related collisions. If you are a driver, a cyclist, or both – please take time to read the following advice:
THINK! advice for when you’re driving
- Look out for cyclists, especially when turning – make eye contact if possible so they know you’ve seen them.
- Use your indicators – signal your intentions so that cyclists can react.
- Give cyclists plenty of space when over taking them, leaving as much room as you would give a car. If there isn’t sufficient space to pass, hold back. Remember that cyclists may need to manoeuvre suddenly if the road is poor, it’s windy or if a car door is opened.
- Always check for cyclists when you open your car door.
- Advanced stop lines allow cyclists to get to the front and increase their visibility. You must stop at the first white line reached if the lights are amber or red and allow cyclists time and space to move off when the green signal shows.
- Follow the Highway Code including ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights.
THINK! advice for when you’re cycling
- Ride positively, decisively and well clear of the kerb – look and signal to show drivers what you plan to do and make eye contact where possible so you know drivers have seen you.
- Avoid riding up the inside of large vehicles, like lorries or buses, where you might not be seen.
- Always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor.
- Wearing light coloured or reflective clothing during the day and reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark increases your visibility.
- Follow the Highway Code including observing ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights.
- THINK! recommends wearing a correctly fitted cycle helmet, which is securely fastened and conforms to current regulations.
Motoring organisation the AA has recently launched a ‘Think Bikes’ campaign, to promote better awareness of cyclists and motorcyclists by motorists. A million free wing mirror stickers are being distributed to drivers, encouraging them to check blind spots for cycles (nearside mirror) and motorcycles (offside mirror).
The AA’s president, Edmund King, said that: “The AA Think Bikes campaign is definitely needed when half of drivers are often surprised when a cyclist or motorcyclist ‘appears from nowhere’. Those on two wheels never appear from nowhere so as drivers we need to be more alert to other road users and this is where our stickers act as a daily reminder. Likewise riders need to be aware that they may not always be spotted by drivers. We hope that this campaign can reach the parts that other campaigns can’t reach.”
Free wing mirror stickers are being distributed at all Halfords outlets and directly to AA breakdown members. We encourage all motorists to us the stickers and check their mirrors carefully when driving. The Cycling Forum will be undertaking local proportion of both campaigns during 2014.
Kent County Council’s short courses for adults have been developed using the national standards for cycle instruction and are delivered by qualified instructors.
Find your Pedals — Starting to Ride
Suitable for anyone wanting to start riding a bicycle, this course will give you the skills and courage to get out there. It includes getting on and off the bike, balancing and making the bike go where you want.
Pedals Primed — Coming back to Cycling
It’s true you never forget how to ride a bicycle but a practical, off road session to get you back up to speed will help give you the confidence to start riding again regularly. It includes manoeuvring, using the gears, riding confidently and being able to stop safely. This session also includes some basic safety checks and is suitable for leisure cyclists as well as those wanting to cycle on the road.
Pedals Ready Push — Confidence Booster
Beginning to cycle for work or pleasure but unsure how to share the road safely with other vehicles and pedestrians? This short course will include important manoeuvres and key safety messages to increase your knowledge and give you the skills to cycle alongside other road users. Includes overtaking parked cars, using junctions, signalling and understanding where to ride on the road.
Pedals Ready Plus — Advanced Cycling
For cyclists already commuting to work or cycling regularly on the road, this intensive course tackles cycling on busy roads and through complex junctions including roundabouts and multi-lane systems. Gain confidence cycling during rush hour, improve your road position and filtering skills. Cycle with an instructor and get practical advice and cycling experience that will assure your position as a cyclist.
Prices and booking
Prices start from £20 per session.
To take part in any of our training courses you will need a roadworthy bicycle. We also recommend the use of a helmet.
For more information e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or go to: http://www.kent.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/parks-and- outdoor-activities/cycling/cycle-training
I was like most kids, I enjoyed playing with other kids, and we all had bikes. Back then it was just for fun and we would constantly challenge ourselves to do more and more silly things on our bikes in the pursuit of excitement and entertainment. I vividly remember my father taking me to buy what I consider to be my first proper bike. We lived near Bromley and I had just passed my 11+, so as a reward I was treated to a new bike. We went to a bike shop in Bromley South, which sadly is not there anymore, and I chose an Eddy Merckx racer; to me it was the best thing ever. I pretty much rode that bike everyday through secondary school, so god knows how many miles it covered, but as soon as I was old enough I ditched the bike for a car, and there ended my cycling for many years.
I don’t really know why I didn’t cycle any more as I had enjoyed it for many years previously, but I didn’t. My obsession with cars had taken over and 4 wheels and an engine ruled. For many more years I was happy sitting in my tin box, but then I started working for a well known supermarket in the London Area. Each day I would sit in my isolation watching cyclists ride past whilst I was stuck moving at a snails pace. I had considered using public transport but it seemed to costly and inconvenient to get to to where I needed to go. So each day I would sit there, my stress levels steadily rising, watching these cyclist go past; I would never see them again until the next day . After several weeks of this, I felt myself hating my job, hating traffic, hating my car and hating myself.
I was now about 40, unfit, and stressed, but the question kept bugging me…could I cycle my journey to work. It was about 7 miles each way, through traffic and busy London roads, and I didn’t even have a bike now. But that question had to be answered. My brother had a reasonable bike in his shed which he didn’t much use, so with very little persuading it was mine on loan. I remember the first day I tackled the route, completely unsure whether I could do it or not. I left plenty of time, dressed in some sporty attire and packed my work clothes in a rucksack. Don’t know why I left so much time because I arrived at work 15 minutes earlier than if I had gone by car and 45 mins if I had gone by public transport! I felt exhilarated, if not a little physically tired, and very proud of myself for doing it. From that moment on cycling re-entered my life and will forever stay. Although I still have a car, I do question why considering how little it is used. I am not a competitive cyclist and I only possess small amounts of lycra, but I do enjoy a long ride on a sunny day. Mostly i ride those shorter journeys that are actually more convenient by bike. The bike takes you door to door, doesn’t cost you anything, gets you there faster, and makes you feel good about yourself too.
I also have found that cycling is very social and inclusive, all you need is a bike. I would recommend it to anyone.
Are you thinking about taking up cycling? Whether it’s for fun, fitness or you just want an easy way to get around, there’s lots of help available to get you back in the saddle.
And if you live, work or study in the Borough of Tunbridge Wells , finding out if cycling suits you has never been easier.
For only £40 you can borrow a quality bike for a month. We can also offer a helmet, bike lock and high visibility vest so you’re ready to ride.
How does the cycle loan scheme work?
You will be given a date and location where you can collect your bike. Take along some ID, your £40 and cycle away.
At the end of the 4 weeks, bring the bike back. If you would like to continue cycling you can either buy the bike you have been riding at a reduced cost, or visit a local bike shop to buy your bike.
Do I get to keep the bike for the four weeks?
Yes. The bike is yours to use as you wish. You will need to store it at home when you are not using it.
What is provided with the bike?
All bikes come with a lock and high visibility vest. There are also optional items like helmets, lights and child seats.
What types of bike are available?
We have a range of men’s and women’s bikes in various sizes. The bikes are suitable for riding on roads and firm tracks, for commuting and leisure. There are also some folding bikes which can be taken on many trains, buses and the tubes.
What forms of ID do I need to show?
- Photographic ID – passport, driver’s licence
- Work place or student ID
- Proof of address – for example a council tax or utilities bill
How do I pay for the loan scheme?
You can bring the £40 with you when you come to collect your bike.
What can I do with my bike and where can I take it?
There is no limit on use. We want you to use it as much as possible and wherever possible to experience how cycling can fit into your lifestyle.
Can I extend the loan beyond four weeks?
The loan is for four weeks only and it is likely that other participants will be waiting to use your bike. You decide at the end of the 4 weeks whether you want to buy a bike.
Do I have to pay a deposit?
What happens if the bike is stolen or damaged?
If your bike is stolen, you need to contact the police immediately to obtain a crime reference number. You should then contact us as soon as possible with the details. Depending on the circumstances, we will let you know whether we can lend you another bike.
If your bike is damaged you should contact us immediately to discuss the damage and whether the bike can or should still be used.
Hi, its is great to see you here and thanks for getting involved.