Renfrewshire Council workers were put through their paces today (11th August) when they took part in a Practical Cycle Awareness Training course (PCAT). The one-day course, devised and delivered by Cycling Scotland, aims to raise awareness among fleet drivers of people cycling by asking them to get on their bikes to gain a greater understanding of how those on bikes, and other vulnerable road users, behave on the road.
Council employees spent time in the classroom followed by a practical cycle training session to familiarise themselves with those travelling by bicycle, foot, motorcycle and scooter. By learning basic on-road cycling skills, carrying out bicycle safety checks and negotiating road junctions and traffic, fleet drivers gained a better appreciation of the safety considerations from various road users’ perspectives.
Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said: “All road users should be safe on the road and cyclists are no exception. By getting into the saddle our drivers have experienced first hand what it is like to be a cyclist on the roads today.
“Large vehicles can be especially intimidating for cyclists and other vulnerable road users. It is important that all drivers give cyclists that bit more space, especially at junctions, so that everyone is safe on the roads.”
Cycling Scotland developed the practical element of the training and has secured £60,000 from Transport Scotland Road Safety Funding to deliver the PCAT initiative. PCAT will train employees in 10 of Scotland’s local authorities who drive vans, buses and lorries.
William Wright, Development Officer at Cycling Scotland said: “Over a thousand fleet drivers will undertake practical training, swapping the driver seat for a saddle. This enables people who drive the largest vehicles on our roads to see things from a very different point of view.
“We are working with Local Authorities, Regional Transport Partnerships and representatives of road haulage and bus industries to expand this training and are keen to work with fleet operators across Scotland to provide training and increase safety and mutual understanding amongst all road users. This project, delivered through local authorities and coordinated by Cycling Scotland, highlights efforts being made in partnership to make cycling easy and safe for anyone anywhere in Scotland.”
Practical Cycle Awareness Training will allow drivers of large vehicles to step into the shoes of more vulnerable road users, including those on bikes, on foot and those with disabilities and provide them with a greater understanding of their needs. Cycling Scotland is keen to hear from anyone who drives or manages large vehicles.