Cycling UK’s partnership with Uber

Doing the Dutch Reach can save lives

Cycling UK’s partnership with Uber

Cycling UK Director of Income Generation, Nicola Marshall, explains why Cycling UK is partnering with Uber on an issue like car-dooring, and why the national charity is looking to team up with other organisations.

I started my new job at Cycling UK in January. Although my job title sounds pretty Ronseal (Director of Income Generation), raising income is actually just a small part of it.

Most of it is about ensuring our brilliant members (66,000 and counting) feel the benefits of being a member, both to them and the broader world of cycling. And about building excellent partnerships with organisations that can help us reach those who aren’t yet cycling, and encourage them to get on a bike.

And that means that we’re keen to create partnerships with companies that don’t (yet) have cycling at their core – but who want to make the world a friendlier place for cycling. That’s why I felt pretty lucky to have arrived just as we started working with one such partner – Uber. Our partnership conversations started with a shared mission – if we could collectively change the behaviour of every Uber licensed partner driver and passenger to prevent cycling accidents, it could encourage more people to get on their bikes.

Our partnership conversations started with a shared mission – if we could collectively change the behaviour of every Uber licensed partner driver and passenger to prevent cycling accidents, it could encourage more people to get on their bikes.

Nicola Marshall, Cycling UK Director of Income Generation

The ‘Dutch Reach’ campaign we launch on Tuesday seemed the perfect way to collaborate. We know that one of the biggest reasons that people don’t cycle is because they’re worried about safety. And having just returned to commuting through London myself after many years, I know it can be a nerve-wracking experience. With London’s narrow residential streets, the thing I worry about most is getting ‘car-doored’ – someone opening a car door right in front of me and me crashing straight into it.

So the campaign will be reminding everyone in the UK to use the ‘Dutch Reach’.

I’d never heard of it before I started at Cycling UK, but it’s really simple – you just use the hand furthest from the door to open it. So it forces you to turn around and look behind you before opening the door.

It’s such an easy way to make roads safer for people on bikes – it doesn’t need costly infrastructure or loads of training – just a quick look that soon becomes automatic. I won’t spoil the surprise, but our video (both 2D and VR, so trendy these days!) is a great example of how to do it (and not to…).

We’ll be getting our wonderful members and cycling partners to highlight the campaign across social media and share it with their friends and family. But we also wanted to reach people who might never think about cycling. And that’s why our partnership with Uber is so perfect – through their app they’ll be able to get the videos and messaging to their 60,000 licensed partner drivers and over 5m customers – people that we could never reach on our own. And it hopefully will start a national conversation about Dutch Reach across the UK. 

We’re always looking for new partners to support our work, so do get in touch if you think you or your organisation could help us make the world better for cycling.  

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