When is a bus driver not a bus driver? When they’re on a bike!

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With the increase of cyclists and motorists in our city, we now have to share the roads even more than ever!

Let’s face it, having to drive close to a lorry or bus can be daunting in the car never mind on a bike. (Go on, admit it, you speed up just to get past them on the motorway? We all do it.) And let’s not forget, most of us when driving have come into a situation where we’ve had to slow down to carefully pass a cyclist. These are all common gripes for road users, no matter what form of transport you are using. But what if you were given the chance to understand each others traveling needs a little more?

This is exactly what the bus drivers from Arriva and First Group have been doing, along with HGV drivers from Leeds and Bradford as part of a new training course funded by CityConnect. The aim is to give professional drivers a first-hand experience of what it’s like to cycle on today’s busy roads, as well as a taste of the new Cycle Superhighway.

The course was started by Transport for London in response to a number of accidents involving large vehicles and people on bikes, and has been gaining momentum ever since, other companies such as National Express in the Midlands making it mandatory for all new drivers.

CityConnect’s Sam Cooke explains: ‘While the CityConnect route should keep cyclists and drivers separate, when not using the Superhighway they will at some point be interacting on the same roads. We are forecasting a big increase in the number of people traveling by bike, and this training gives the drivers who are most likely to encounter these new cyclists a valuable perspective that will lead to safer roads for all users.’

We’d like to say a special thanks to all drivers who have taken part in the Urban Safer Driving courses so far and we look forward to working with other drivers in the future. It’s one huge step towards both cyclists and drivers being safer on our roads.