Excellence in Cycling

Give Space Be Safe

Birmingham Cycling Revolution (Birmingham City Council) and West Midlands Police, have been working together since 2013 on cycle safety, initially on the Exchanging Places programme which has been well received by cyclist In March 2016, we have been working on the “Give Space Be Safe” campaign. The aim of the campaign was to help encourage the use of cycling around the city, and to engage with motorists to provide education and advice, about providing cyclist with more space when passing them on the road. To remind drivers that in the highway code that when passing a cyclist you need to give them 1.5 metres. West Midlands Police were the first force in the country to carry out this type of work and it received a huge amount of press coverage, and many police forces reported drivers behaviour changed following this. This campaign has received national recognition, and has been cascade adopted by a large number of Police Forces up and down the country.

Local Authority contact details

Birmingham City Council – Mandi Slater – Mandi.slater@birmingham.gov.uk and West Midlands Police – Mark Hodson and Steve Hudson.

Who was involved & what was their role?

Birmingham City Council funded the educational mat and the leaflets that accompany discussion with driver, and supported events. West Midlands Police help develop the mat and leaflet in partnership and delivered the enforcement side of the campaign.

Details of cost budget, sources of funding

The cost was £2,000 for the mat and leaflets

How was it developed?

Following the success of the Exchanging places events, when we spoke to cyclists many spoke about the fact that drivers passed them sometimes to close and this put many new cyclist off traveling along main road routes. So a need to protect this vulnerable road user was important particularly as the city were spending money on improving cycle infrastructure the softer measures around driver behaviour needed to go hand in hand.

What was the outcome, including information on future plans - one-off, on-going, develop further?

Within a short space of time, following the “Give Space Be Safe” campaign, we received feedback from cyclists, telling us that they felt that their concerns were being taken seriously, and that there was a noticeable difference when cycling around the city, road users were giving them more space when passing. These cyclists were in turn promoting the message that cycling is a viable mode of transport, and that their safety was being taken seriously. We have worked closely with Birmingham University, as well as RoSPA, to spread the message from the “Give Space Be Safe” campaign. We have also encouraged others to take the message forward; West Midlands Police have been instrumental in taking reports from cyclists, through the use of bike cameras, for evidence of poor driving. They have dealt with over 250 cases since the beginning of the campaign, and all drivers have either been offered education or been prosecuted due to the manner of their driving.

How does this initiative or project meet the criteria?

I think this project meets all the criteria, in that it has enable cyclists to feel safe when undertaking this mode of travel that their concerns are being listened to and taken seriously and in turn this has had a knock on effect in the cyclist themselves are promoting that cycling is safe around the city. This project has not just been an initiative we have been running in our own city but many police forces and local authorities, following training are running this campaign too.

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