Cycle safely

Tips to cycle safely

  • Obey traffic lights and signs
  • Don’t cycle on the pavement unless it’s a designated cycle path
  • Wear a helmet
  • Keep your bike in good condition
  • Be aware of slippery surfaces when wet
  • Ride with a positive attitude and be sure of your decisions

How to be seen

  • Make sure you’re in a position that is visible to motorists
  • Use bike lights and consider bright or reflective clothing, especially in towns, at night and in bad weather
  • Check if other road users have seen you by making eye contact, especially at crossings
  • Signal clearly
  • Use your bell to warn unaware pedestrians

Things to be aware of on roads

  • Lorries will often pull out to the right before turning left. Dot not ride into the gap between the vehicle and the kerb
  • Avoid undertaking a vehicle when there is a road approaching to the left. Motorists often do not signal when turning. It’s better to hang back until the vehicle continues
  • Drive central on narrow roads
  • Ride a door’s width from parked cars

Useful tips for cyclists and drivers

Useful tips for cyclists and drivers on how to share the road.

Drivers look out for cyclist
1. Drivers, look out for cyclists at junctions
2. Drivers, give cyclists room to ride
3. Cyclists, ride central on narrow roads
4. Drivers, look out when getting out
5. Cyclist’s, ride a door’s width from parked cars
6. Motorcyclists, leave room for cyclists at traffic lights
7. Cyclists, always stop at red lights
8. Cyclists, stay back
9. Drivers, look out for cyclists
10. Passengers, look out when getting out

Highway Code advice

  • Don’t jump red lights and signal clearly
  • Be seen – most accidents to cyclists happen at junctions
  • Fit lights and use them in poor visibility and always when it’s dark
  • Consider the merits of wearing a helmet and conspicuous clothing
  • Keep your bike roadworthy
  • Don’t cycle on pavements, except where signed for shared use
  • Use your bell – not all pedestrians can see you.
  • In wet weather watch your speed – surfaces will be slippery and it will take longer to stop
  • The ‘primary position’ in the centre of a traffic lane (otherwise known as ‘taking the lane’) is generally the safest, especially at junctions, on narrow roads and in slow moving traffic
  • Make eye contact with drivers at junctions
  • Signal confidently if you are turning and always look behind you, making eye contact with drivers, to check you aren’t going to be overtaken
  • Consider booking an hour-long adult cycle skills course if you need further tips and advice.
For more info visit Rules for cyclists

Shared-use path advice

When cycling on shared use paths please.

  • Give way to pedestrians, giving them plenty of room
  • Keep to your side of any dividing line where possible
  • Be prepared to slow down or stop
  • Don’t ride at high speeds
  • Be extra careful at junctions, bends and entrances
  • Many people are hard of hearing or visually impaired – don’t assume they can see or hear you.
  • Carry a bell and use it – don’t surprise people
  • Give way where there are wheelchair users and horse riders.

Cycling in the countryside

  • Follow the Country Code
  • Respect land management activities such as farming or forestry and take litter home
  • Keep erosion to a minimum if off-road
  • Be self-sufficient – in remote areas carry food, repair kit, map, waterproofs and a mobile phone
  • Plan your journey to be within your capabilities
  • Match your speed to the surface and your skills.
  • Remember, poor cycling behaviour gives other cyclists a bad name.

Tips for motorists

  • Always look out for cyclists at junctions
  • When turning left watch for cyclists on your near side
  • Give cyclists a wide berth when overtaking – at least four feet
  • Give cyclists extra space when it’s windy or wet
  • Don’t get upset when cyclists don’t use cycle paths, there is no legal obligation for cyclists to use them
  • At night, dip your headlights when approaching cyclists
  • Do not sound your horn aggressively or in anger

Adult cycle skills

Boost your confidence and skills with our cycle training courses and 1-2-1 accompanied rides.

Loan bike scheme

Borrow a bike for week or up to a month for free. We have a range of electric, city or folding bike available in all sizes and can provide you with all the gear to get you on the road.