Campaign urges motorists to make more space for cyclists and motorcyclists as we head out of lockdown

How much space do you need on the road?

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 8:00 am

As more and more people return to work in our town and city centres over the coming months, South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) is encouraging road users to be more aware of each other and give ‘space’ where appropriate.

With an expected rise in traffic levels as restrictions are lifted, many cyclists, motorbike/scooter riders and drivers, who have been staying at home, will be back out on the roads.

This week, SYSRP, supported by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has launched a ‘Shared Space’ campaign, to encourage tolerance and understanding among all different types of road users.

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Joanne Wehrle, manager of SYSRP, said: “As the traffic on the daily commute begins to rise again, we all need to start thinking of the roads as a ‘shared space’ not somewhere hostile where we compete for space.

“During lockdown, many road users turned to two wheels as a socially distanced form of transport and have realised the many benefits that this brings.

“All we are asking is for everyone on our roads to think more about the space around them, which can be used more effectively by other users.”

Joanne Wehrle

The partnership will be using digital ad vans to highlight the issue at commuter congestion spots and this will be supported by social media posts. Messages will include tips for drivers, advice on filtering for motorcyclists, leaving space for horse riders and the benefits around reducing congestion.

“We are asking drivers to help to make it safer and easier for cyclists and scooter/motorbike riders to use the roads because for every two-wheeled rider, there will be one less car sitting with you in a long line of traffic going nowhere, fast.

“At the same time, riders need to be aware of their speed in relation to queuing traffic, would they be able to stop in time if something happened in front of them?

“They are also not as visible and can be easily hidden by other vehicles, so filtering has to be done with care for their own safety.”

Road users will also be able to show their support by displaying bumper stickers with the key messages of ‘Filter Friendly’ for motorbike/scooter riders, and ‘Give them Space’ when overtaking cyclists and horse riders.

Gareth Overend, road safety lead for South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue said: “The fire service will whole heartedly be supporting the campaign, not only from the aspect of the many miles our officers cover driving around South Yorkshire for work, but also as

commuters, with our personnel using two and four wheels to actually get to the many different stations around the county.

“The lockdown restrictions have shown many of us that there are more enjoyable ways to get to work, and as more people start to move around our towns and cities, we need to make it safe for all road users to commute.”

SYSRP runs campaigns throughout the year to promote safety for all road users via digital platforms and face-to-face engagement.

For more information visit: www.sysrp.co.uk

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.