Safer Roads Humber win prestigious award for cycle project

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Safer Roads Humber, along with neighbouring road safety partnerships, have won a prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for their work on improving cycle safety in the region.

The Safer Roads Yorkshire and Humber road safety group includes Safer Roads Humber, Safer Roads West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire Safer Roads and the 95 Alive Partnership, which represent over 20 public sector organisations including local authorities, fire and rescue services and police forces.

The award winning pedal cycle project was entered into the awards to recognise the importance of joint working, the use of data and evaluation to direct a cycle campaign.

The campaign focused on drivers, urban and rural cyclists and used a mixture of radio, a bespoke DVD, online content and a special Tour de France cycle app to raise awareness of safe cycling and best practice for staying safe, whatever journey people making on their bike.

An in-depth cycling report was produced prior to the start of the campaign to give the teams in Yorkshire and Humber detailed information on cycle casualties in detail including, when and with whom and the circumstances involved in order to develop the cycling part of the campaign. The report won the MAST project of the year award in 2014 for its content and approach.

Drivers were asked to look out for those on two wheels through a radio campaign on a range of stations across the region. The adverts explained to drivers why cyclists take up the primary road positions at junctions and roundabout - the places where the majority of collisions occur.

Urban cyclists were targeted in a number of different ways including through an Urban Cycling Guide DVD, which allows people to watch an expert cyclist, cycle in urban areas and provides them with tips and advice on what to look out for and be aware of on their daily commutes.

Over 20,000 DVDs have been distributed at a range of locations including work places, cycle shops and community events. This represents around 3% of the total number of people actively cycling in the region. This content is also available on YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/UrbanCyclingGuide

The second campaign was the creation of an innovative new mobile phone app, called Cycle Yorkshire Ride The Routes, which was launched ahead of the world’s largest single sporting event coming to Yorkshire in July - the Tour de France.

Enabling cyclists to experience the Tour de France route from their mobile, the app was designed around the Yorkshire stages of the Grand Départ and encompassed information on the routes, hints and tips on how to cycle specific sections and general rural cycling road safety advice.

Over 4,000 people have downloaded the app to-date and the analysis shows that they are actively playing the films on the app with a massive peak of 120,000 films loaded on the first day of the Tour race.

The app is free to download and can be found on Google Play, the App Store, or by following this link www.bit.ly/cycleyorkshire

Ruth Gore, chair of the cycling group and regional representative, said: “The road safety partnerships across Yorkshire and Humber have a long track record of working together and we are thrilled to win this prestigious award. This is testament to partnership working, hard work and positive safety improvements the region as a whole has achieved.”

Presenting the award at the Road Safety GB Conference, Adrian Walsh director of The Prince’s award scheme said: “This award recognises the success of a partnership of many agencies working together to deliver such an important and well-structured campaign. Each individual partnership took the lead on different aspects of the project, including research, the Urban Cycling Guide DVD, the Cycle Yorkshire app, social media or evaluation.

The campaign was directed by an in-depth cycle collision report* which profiles what vehicles and people are involved in cycle collisions. It also shows that those on two wheels are not constrained to council boundaries and each of the areas are showing an increase in cyclists which in turn has seen a rise in cycle casualties, which as a region we are working together to address.

The road safety partnerships in Yorkshire and Humber have a track record of delivering successful road safety projects. They were awarded the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for motorcyclists in 2012 for their Someone’s Son campaign. The pedal cycle project is a continuation of this project.