Qualified cycling instructors in demand

News | August 2019

The growth in social media, helmet cams and rise in viral videos has catapulted incidents between cyclists and drivers into the public eye.

The most recent published statistics show that, in 2016, 102 cyclists were killed on British roads, around 3,400 were seriously injured and there were around 15,000 other casualties.

Several organisations have been working together with Transport for London for some years to make our roads safer, leading to the creation of the Safe Urban Driving (SUD) course which was introduced in 2011.

Designed to reduce the number of accidents and injuries on our roads, SUD has steadily become an essential part of the driver’s professional competence training arsenal and, with media scrutiny bringing it sharper into focus, more companies than ever are ensuring their drivers participate in collectively reducing work-related risk.

“The rise in interest means that we need more cycle trainers to deliver the cycling practical component of SUD,” said Louise Elstone, Commercial and Operations Manager for TTC Cycling.

National Standards Cycling Instructors are the only individuals qualified to deliver the cycling element of SUD, a 3.5 hour practical session, which allows drivers to ‘exchange places’ by spending a morning or afternoon on a bike out on the road. The aim is to enable them to better understand and anticipate cyclist behaviour.

She added: “SUD cycle trainers are a special breed. Not only are they totally familiar with the National Standards for Cycle Training, they are able to demonstrate consummate cycle craft during their sessions with drivers and are excellent communicators. Due to the considerable demand for trainers right now, we would welcome any NSIQ or NSIT interested in delivering SUD to come forward and add their professional knowledge/skills to the mix.”

TTC Cycling delivered more than 900 courses to 22,000 delegates across the UK in 2018 and this is expected to increase over the next few years.

Andrew Montgomery has been delivering SUD courses in and around the London area since 2012 – a notorious spot for incidents between drivers and cyclists.

“I was already delivering Bikeability courses and wanted the variety that comes from teaching different groups of road users and cyclists  that was the main driver of me deciding to learn how to instruct on the Safe Urban Driving course.

“It has been fantastic for my personal development. Whilst the core principles of teaching SUD are quite similar to what I was already doing, the real learning comes with dealing with different personalities and beginning to understand issues from professional drivers’ point of view. That’s tremendous knowledge and something I’ve built into the training I deliver.

“Ultimately, I want to make our roads safer for children, for cyclists and for drivers. I believe the SUD course definitely helps me achieve this aim.”

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