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Close Pass project from GCI aims to save lives

Green Commute Initiative is committed to encouraging more people to ditch their cars and switch to cycling for their daily commutes to work.

However, fears over safety has meant that many people are reluctant to take to the pedals. This particularly affects women; there are about 50% fewer women than men who cycle twice a week or more. Commonly cited reasons include sexual harassment, fears about appearance and concerns about safety – being passed too close by cars and lorries is intimidating and dangerous for cyclists.

Police attribute “passing too close to the cyclist” as a contributory factor in a staggering 25% of serious collisions between cyclists and large vehicles. West Midlands Police recently ran a Close Pass Initiative with positive results in changing driver behaviour.

GCI has decided to build on this initiative by producing a Close Pass Poster which aims to help employees recognise that their colleagues and friends who cycle to work are vulnerable road users and passing wide is the safest thing to do. The poster illustrates some of the obstacles in the road, such as drain covers and potholes, for which cyclists need space to go around.
The poster is available free of charge and GCI hopes it can be passed on and shared with all businesses in the UK.

The close pass project from GCI came about following several near misses its staff experienced whilst cycling to work down a relatively busy road in rural West Berkshire with a 60mph speed limit. The team felt compelled to do something to educate all road users and make the roads a safer place for all.

Rob Howes, GCI’s Managing Director, said “The aim of the poster is to encourage employees who drive to work, to recognise that the person on the bike in front of them is not just a cyclist but a human being who is someone’s husband/wife/mother/father/child/friend/colleague. We all need to support them by giving them room as they help to reduce congestion and emissions – for the benefit of us all. Near misses are frightening, dangerous and totally avoidable and, at GCI, we want to help our customers to be safe on their cycling journeys.

GCI recommends the poster be displayed on the building exit doors to remind colleagues as they return to their cars at the end of the day. A digital version has been created so it can be emailed to staff and be uploaded to digital notice boards. Large outdoor formats can be supplied at cost.


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