Dutch Reach - A Change of Habit to Protect Vulnerable Road Users

Dutch Reach is a simple yet effective technique to prevent 'dooring' - a dreaded and all too common crash, caused when people exiting a vehicle suddenly open a door into the path of a cyclist, or other vulnerable road user.

As active travel increases, safer interaction between cars and bicycles is reliant on co-operation and a greater awareness from drivers regarding the presence of less protected road users.

Partners in Road Safety Wales are promoting the Dutch Reach, asking drivers and passengers to get into the habit of reaching across to the vehicle’s door with their far hand to open it.

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Appointment of Active Travel Board Chair

Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, has appointed Dr Dafydd Trystan Davies as the Chair of the Active Travel Board. The appointment will be for 2 years.

The Active Travel Board was set up in 2014 to advise Welsh Government on the implementation of the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 and active travel policy more widely and to co-ordinate action among partner organisations.

Dr Dafydd Trystan Davies has previously served as an advisory board member of Sustrans in Wales and a director of Cycle Training Wales. In his capacity as chair of governors of Ysgol Hamadryad in Cardiff, he has been involved in the development of one of the most radical school travel plans in the country.

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‘School Streets' Promote Social Distancing and Active Travel

‘School Streets' road closures to promote social distancing and encourage active travel when pupils return to school. Cardiff Council is planning to implement School Street road closures to help pupils and families maintain social distancing when schools return for the Autumn term. 

In June, temporary road closures were introduced to create School Streets at 24 schools across the city when they reopened for the last few weeks of the summer term.

The streets selected for closures regularly experience problems with traffic and parking during school drop off and pick up times. Closing them to general traffic supported children and families to socially distance when arriving and leaving school.

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Pedestrian and Cycle Zones Set for Caerphilly Schools

With the re-opening of schools this week, Caerphilly County Borough Council will implement pedestrian and cycle zones at four schools across the county from the 1st of September.

One school from each corner of the county borough has been selected to take part in the pilot project. The scheme is to be initially installed on an experimental basis to enable its impact to be assessed before any permanent scheme is taken forward.  The experimental order would be in force for a maximum period of 18 months and would be monitored during that time.

The following schools will become pedestrianised and only disabled badge holders will be permitted to access the site during peak drop off and collection times.

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Families in Wales Encouraged to Consider 'Back to School' Transport Options

With the new school term about to start, families across Wales are being encouraged to consider the different transport options available for pupils returning to the classrooms from next week.

Pupils and students intending to travel to and from schools or colleges on scheduled public transport services are also being encouraged to think of others and act responsibly when travelling. Meanwhile, other public transport users are being urged to try to avoid non-essential journeys around the start and end of the school day in order to ensure sufficient capacity for the young travellers.

Pupils in Wales will begin returning at the start of the new term on Tuesday 2 September, with a two-week period for schools to finalise plans. The full return of pupils will come on Monday 14 September.

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New Resource to Support Child Pedestrian Training

Road Safety Wales partners have collaborated to produce a child pedestrian training video to share with school contacts and for inclusion on local authority websites and social media channels, for parents to use during the school holidays and beyond.

The resource has been created during lockdown at no real cost to the Road Safety Wales partnership, thanks to the input of Road Safety Officers and their much appreciated family volunteers. Special thanks go to Angharad Barrett of Blaenau Gwent CBC and Charlie Gordon of Swansea Council for their help in making this lockdown project possible.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many children in Wales benefitted from pedestrian training or Kerbcraft at school, thanks to road safety grant funding from the Welsh Government. Social distancing requirements made practical training of this nature at school impossible; this package has been developed to assist in equipping children with pedestrian skills for life.

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Advice for Staying Safe Near Cars

Neris from the Road Safety Section in Ceredigion County Council and PCSO Eleri from Dyfed Powys Police have put together a short training video aimed at helping young children remain safe when out walking and looking for safe places to cross the road.

The video provides information on what to look out for on a vehicle and how to know if a vehicle is about to move. From engine noise to reverse lights, it is important that children can comprehend what these different clues mean in order for them to be able to assess any potential dangers.

The video provides a brief introduction to issues usually covered in Kerbcraft training, which cannot take place at present, due to COVID-19 social distancing regulations.

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"A golden opportunity for change" says Deputy Minister Lee Waters

Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, is determined to grasp an opportunity for change and make sure people continue to ditch the car in favour of cycling or walking when the coronavirus pandemic is over.

  • Visible increases in number of people cycling and walking
  • £38 million to make Wales a safer place to cycle, scoot and walk
  • Biggest ever investment in local active travel improvements

Today, the Welsh Government has announced £38 million to make Wales a safer place to cycle, scoot and walk.

Together with the £15.4m announced last month, this is the largest ever investment in local active travel improvements in Wales, which will fund projects to make it safer for children and adults to get to school or work on foot, bike or scooter.

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Wales Leads the Way on Reducing Speed to Save Lives

Lives can be saved across Wales by reducing default speed limits from 30mph to 20mph, says Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters. The Deputy Minister has introduced an independent report recommending that Wales becomes the first nation in the world to adopt the bold new measure by 2023.

The result of a year-long study by a taskforce made up of police, local authorities, public health experts and other key partners such as road safety groups, the report makes 21 practical recommendations for implementation across Wales.

Lee Waters said, “Eighty children were killed or seriously injured in Wales in the last year for which we have figures.

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Gwynedd Scheme Aims to Give Cyclists Safer Space

A new scheme to remind drivers of the minimum space needed to ensure safety when passing a cyclist has been launched by Gwynedd Council. The first of their kind in the UK, the road signs installed along popular routes in Snowdonia are urging motorists to give cyclists 1.5 metres.

As part of a trial, the Council has received Welsh Government support to install the signage at locations along roads popular with cyclists in the northern part of the county.

Councillor Gareth Griffith, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for the Environment, said, “More people have made the most of the quieter roads during lockdown, but with traffic slowly increasing, Gwynedd Council is eager to ensure that cyclists continue get the respect and space they deserve on our roads.

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