New Campaign is Being Launched to Help Keep Pedestrians and Cyclists Safe
The summer holiday season is in full swing, the sun continues to shine, and, as the city welcomes thousands of visitors, a new campaign is being launched to help keep pedestrians and cyclists safe.
The national campaign “Share the space, drop your pace”, aims to raise awareness of how pedestrians and cyclists can remain safe, particularly in areas of the city where cyclists and pedestrians share the same space (such as Madeira drive), and in doing so, encouraging everyone to be more aware of what’s around them.
Using cycle paths is a great way to explore the city but the council’s road safety team is reminding visitors to ‘share the space’ and look out for others.
Brighton and Hove council have put up temporary “Share the Space, Drop Your Pace” signs along the seafront to remind cyclists to watch out and slow down for pedestrians, and pedestrians to be aware of cyclists on the seafront cycle path.
The council are encouraging cyclists to use a bell to calmly warn of their approach, asking cyclists to keep their speed down and pedestrians to look out for cyclists and not wander onto the cycle lanes.
Brighton & Hove City Council, environment councillor Gill Mitchell acknonwledged: “Walking and cycling are both great ways get around the city.
She added, “However, during the summer, when the city gets busier, the chances of collision and risk of injury to pedestrians and cyclists increases. As a result, we’re asking everyone to be more aware of what’s around them and encouraging cyclist to use their bells.”
This encouragement of cyclists to use their bells was seen at a recent awareness day at the Peace Statue with the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, where the council gave away around 50 bike bells. This is an example of an area where cyclists and pedestrians use the same space as they access the nearby crossing.
PC Helen Wilson-Law from Sussex Police highlighted the importance cyclists and pedestrians sharing the space on the seafront stating: “here on the seafront we have a number of areas where pedestrians and cyclists, skateboarders, all are using the same space. And where there are areas where pedestrians and cyclists want to use the same area, the cyclists slow down and the pedestrians take extra care.”
On the difficulties cyclists face when coming into contact with pedestrians, Brighton and Hove Cyclist Lotta Butler, explained:
“I’ve just started cycling from Hove to the Royal Sussex and it’s primarily along the cycle path, which you’d think would make it safer and easier. But no, I actually much prefer cycling in the road because so many people, pedestrians just walk onto the lane. People have walked into me before – I’ve been knocked off my bike despite having a bell, despite having my lights on if it’s dark; trying to be easily visible.”
Technology encourages us to be available and engaged all the time – we’ve a fear of missing out but this can lead to being distracted and focussing elsewhere.
The consequences of this for riders and pedestrians is highlighted by statistics such as, 42% of collisions occurring in Brighton & Hove between cyclists and pedestrians occurred because people were not looking properly.
The campaign aims to make sure pedestrians and cyclists are aware at all times, can see what is around them, and that others can see them and are aware of what they are about to do.
As part of this, on Friday, August 17th, from 8am to midday, staff from Brighton and Hove council’s Road Safety Team will be giving out travel information and fitting bike bells for cyclists, and Sussex Police officers will also be advising cyclists to keep to the cycle tracks at all times.
Officer Keith Baldock from Brighton and Hove councils Road safety team, stated: “In many areas of the city, pedestrians and cyclists share the same space and in others, segregated cycle tracks run alongside a footway, allowing cyclists to travel away from roads.
One issue that older and disabled people have raised is that cyclists may not realise there are pedestrians with impaired senses or that they cannot move easily and on this Baldock adds:
“Fortunately, collisions are rare, but vulnerable pedestrians with hidden disabilities can be scared by cyclists riding fast near to them. Similarly cyclists have been hurt by dogs on leads and walkers wandering onto the cycle track.
“We want to remind everyone that early marked, cycle tracks are intended for cyclists only. Where pedestrian crossings are on the road, there are often breaks in the cycle track, with give way markings, to allow pedestrians to cross the cycle track.
Baldock concludes: “Being considerate to others makes life much more friendly for everyone.”
Featured image by Garry Knight