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‘Stay wider of the rider to help cyclists feel safer on our roads’

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THE Guernsey Bicycle Group has launched a new initiative asking motorists to ‘stay wider of the rider’ to help cyclists to feel less vulnerable on the road.

Sam Field from The Guernsey Bicycle Group is hoping that a new initiative ‘Stay Wider for the Rider’ will help cyclists to feel less vulnerable on local roads. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 21449966)

The campaign encourages drivers to leave a sufficient gap between themselves and the bike rider when overtaking.

A mat has been produced to show the safe and unsafe zones for overtaking which will be on display for the public in the coming weeks.

‘One of the biggest barriers preventing people from riding as a means of commuting to school, work, recreationally or with their families is the perception that riding on the roads can be intimidating,’ said GBG chairman Sam Field.

‘Close overtaking manoeuvres and a feeling of vulnerability on the road are two of the biggest barriers preventing people from riding more. This initiative aims to make all road users aware of the space and speed between each other when overtaking.’

Dubbed ‘Stay Wider of the Rider’ the initiative aims to raise awareness of the safe distance for overtaking: a minimum of 3ft, but ideally 4 to 5ft where possible.

It is based on an award-winning UK campaign which was spearheaded by the West Midlands Police.

The 17 x 12ft mat has been produced to clearly display the safe and unsafe zones and distances for overtaking.

The mat has been modified for Guernsey, in recognition of the fact that it is not always possible to leave a gap of 5 ft when overtaking on some of our narrow island roads.

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Sergeant Tom Marshall of the Roads Policing Unit said he welcomed the initiative.

‘The safety of all road users is a priority for Guernsey Police.

‘This mat and the associated campaign will promote best practise to drivers when overtaking others and help educate them as to the effect that their actions could have on other vulnerable road users,’ he said.

Mr Field said the group was thrilled to have the support of Guernsey Police to help reinforce the safety message.

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‘GBG’s goal is to make riding more accessible for all people, with more people riding to school and work and feeling safe in doing so,’ said Mr Field.

‘In a perfect world all drivers would give enough room to riders, and there would be no requirement for the Stay Wider of the Rider mat.’

n GBG and the Guernsey Police will be displaying the mat and answering your questions at the GBG annual general meeting tonight at the Guernsey Yacht Club from 7pm and on Sunday 20 May at Seafront Sunday.

Alex Warlow

By Alex Warlow
News reporter

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