National Bike Week: 30 May – 5 June 2021

This week is National Bike Week (30 May – 5 June). Since the pandemic hit over 14 months ago, there has been a ‘bicycle boom’, with many people rediscovering their bikes or buying new ones in a bid to avoid public transport and get some exercise.

The number of people cycling during the COVID-19 lockdown period last year rose by 200% at weekends and 100% on weekdays. Cycling is a great way to exercise as it allows you to get some fresh air as well as raise your heart rate.

It’s also great for mental wellbeing as it can help us to clear our heads and let off a bit of steam. For many it has been a lifeline over the past year when we’ve been told to stay home for much of the time – just that one hour a day outdoors and in the saddle has brought a great deal of enjoyment. Other benefits of cycling include:

  • Cycling to work can mean you have a 45% lower risk of developing cancer, and a 46% lower risk of cardiovascular disease
  • If you cycle regularly in adulthood, you will enjoy a level of fitness equivalent to someone 10 years younger
  • If all cycle journeys increased from the current level of 2% to 25% by 2050, the collective benefit would be £248bn

National Bike Week is delivered by Cycling UK, who describe it as an annual celebration to showcase cycling. This year’s theme is health and wellbeing. You can take part in the virtual #7daysofcyclingchallenge, which will give you an amazing way to reunite with your friends and family outdoors. Feel free to post your pics on social media with the hashtag!

With so many cyclists on the road over the past year, road safety has never been more important. Unfortunately there has been an increase in cycling accidents during this time and it is important that as motorists, we are vigilant whilst driving and keep an extra eye out for those on bikes.

Road and cycle safety is always a top priority for TJ. Our fleet of lorries are frequent road users, but all of our drivers are advocates for cycle safety. As part of our commitment to managing work related road risk (WRRR), particularly regarding vulnerable road users such as cyclists, we created our Cycle Safe Campaign in 2016 to raise awareness of the issue and reduce the HGV / cyclist dangers.

The initiatives implemented as part of the campaign are:

  • Annual driver induction
  • Annual driver assessment
  • MPQC Vulnerable Road User course
  • Toolbox Talks
  • Vehicle safety features, such as 360-degree camera systems, side under-run guards and audible left-turn warnings
  • Public interaction events, called ‘Exchanging Places’, with TJ vehicles and drivers

Since the introduction of the Cycle Safe campaign, TJ has won two awards. The first was a national award for leading the way with cycle safety. The accolade was awarded by CEMEX, a leader in the building materials industry.

John Gosling, TJ’s Managing Director said:

“CEMEX’s award recognises our drivers’ strong commitment to managing work-related road risk, with particular focus on cities where heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) account for a disproportionate number of road casualties.”

TJ also won the Transport for London Award for reducing occupational road risk for the company’s drivers. Criteria for the award included showing how technology, management systems and behavioural initiatives can reduce road accidents.

In October 2018, TJ also gained the highly-regarded FORS silver status. The FORS (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) silver accreditation is awarded to operators that maintain Bronze accreditation and have developed driver licensing verification systems. To further meet the strict criteria, vehicles over 3.5 tonnes must be equipped with a left-turn audible warning system and fitted with blind-spot minimisation devices.

TJ Transport is required to ensure all drivers and line managers undergo approved progressive training and continued professional development. Dozens of its drivers took part in safe urban driving sessions, including riding bikes in Southampton and Bristol to better understand road hazards facing cyclists

Find out more about TJ’s Cycle Safe campaign and be sure to get involved in National Bike Week, which kicks off on Sunday 30 May 2021!

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Luke Haskell
1 June 2021