Cycling UK’s road safety campaigns takes top award

Cycling UK campaigners Keir Gallagher and Duncan Dollimore at the BikeBiz Awards.
Cycling UK’s campaigning on close passing and car-dooring has now added the BikeBiz Cycle Advocacy Award 2019 to its palmares.

As the Cycle Show at the NEC Birmingham closed its doors on the first day of the show on 12 September, the cycle industry gathered for the 11th BikeBiz Awards.

Hosted by Jools Walker aka Velo City Girl, author and one of Cycling UK’s 100 Women in Cycling, these annual awards are an opportunity for the cycle industry to recognise the success of the sector across the retail, manufacturing, distributor and the advocacy fields.

It was for the latter that Cycling UK was up for nomination for its two digital campaigns: #TooCloseForComfort and The Dutch Reach.

 #TooCloseForComfort, already an award campaigning, seeks to educate people driving about the dangers of passing cyclists too closely while also pushing for greater clarity in the Highway Code.

Using a combination of the physical prop of a life-scale close pass mat and a virtual reality (VR) film, people can not just see how much space they should give to cyclists but also experience the threat of close passing – without the danger.

The film and mats have been distributed to all 45 police forces operating across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and also available on the Highways England’s Young Drivers portal.

The Dutch Reach, which was launched in June 2019 in collaboration with Uber, also uses VR technology, but this time to show the dangers of opening a car-door without checking.

The short film, with its explosive demonstration of what could happen if you don’t look, promotes the use of the “Dutch Reach” – essentially you open your car door with the hand furthest away. The film is part of the suite used by the UK’s police forces which were all supplied with VR headsets by Cycling UK, and is also available on Highways England’s Young Drivers portal.

Beating stiff competition from the Keeper of the Peak, Bicycle Association and others, Cycling UK was awarded its second BikeBiz Cycle Advocacy award in two years on the night.   

Learning of the award, Kate Barnes, Safety Engagement Manager at Uber said: "We're proud to have partnered with Cycling UK on their Dutch Reach campaign, a simple technique that can prevent dangerous collisions.

With a growing number of cyclists on the road, safety has never been more important and we're delighted that Cycling UK’s advocacy work has been recognised by BikeBiz.

Kate Barnes, Uber's Safety Engagement Manager

“With a growing number of cyclists on the road, safety has never been more important and we're delighted that Cycling UK’s advocacy work has been recognised by BikeBiz. Together with industry leaders, like Cycling UK, we can use our technology to increase road safety awareness amongst the millions of people who use the Uber app across the UK."

Keir Gallagher, Cycling UK’s Campaigns Officer who has helped bring these campaigns to life was delighted at the news and said: "Making our roads safer for everyone who cycles is a core part of Cycling UK's mission, so it's brilliant to have our Too Close For Comfort and Dutch Reach campaigns recognised with the 2019 BikeBiz Advocacy Award.

“We'd like to extend our thanks to our 68,000 members, without whom our campaigning work would be completely impossible, and Uber who helped fund the making of our Dutch Reach film - this award is really shared between all of them."