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Launch of GBG's "Stay Wider of the Rider" Campaign 15th May 2018

The Guernsey Bicycle Group and Guernsey Police are hoping that a new initiative will help cyclists to feel less vulnerable on Guernsey’s roads, by encouraging motorists to ‘stay wider of the rider’ and make sure that they leave a sufficient gap between their vehicle and the cyclist when overtaking.

‘One of the biggest barriers preventing people from riding as a means of commuting to school, work, recreationally or with their families is the perception that riding on the roads can be intimidating’ said GBG Chairman, Sam Field.

‘Close overtaking manoeuvres and a feeling of vulnerability on the road are two of the biggest barriers preventing people from riding more. This initiative aims to make all road users aware of the space and speed between each other when overtaking’.

Known as ‘Stay Wider of the Rider’ the initiative aims to raise spatial awareness among road users – asking them to give a bicycle as much room as a car when overtaking – a minimum of 3 feet, but ideally 4 or 5 feet where possible.

It draws on experience from an award winning UK campaign which was spearheaded by the West Midlands Police. A 17 x 12 foot life size printed mat has been produced which clearly displays the safe and unsafe zones and distances for overtaking. The mat has been modified for Guernsey, in recognition of the fact that it isn’t always possible to leave a gap of 5 feet when overtaking on some of our narrow island roads. It will be displayed at various locations around the island in the forthcoming weeks and months to help drive the message home.

Sergeant Tom Marshall of Roads Policing Unit welcomed the initiative: “The safety of all road users is a priority for Guernsey Police. This mat and the associated campaign will promote best practise to drivers when overtaking others and help educate them as to the effect that their actions could have on other vulnerable road users.”

The Guernsey Bicycle Group say their members regularly witness high speed close passes by vehicles on the island, with many often leaving a gap of less than 1 foot. With a marked difference in speed between the bike rider and the vehicle, such a small gap is not only terrifying to the cyclist, but potentially lethal. They advise all riders to adopt the secondary position on the road, being 3 feet away from the kerb, which also gives enough room to avoid hazards such as drain covers, manholes and potholes.

‘We are thrilled to have the support of Guernsey Police to help reinforce this safety message’ said Sam Field.

‘GBG’s goal is to make riding more accessible for all people, with more people riding to school and work and feeling safe in doing so. In a perfect world all drivers would give enough room to riders, and there would be no requirement for the Stay Wider of the Rider mat.’

GBG and the Guernsey Police will be displaying the mat and answering your questions at the GBG AGM Tuesday 20 at the Guernsey Yacht Club from 1900hrs, or Sunday May 20th at the Sea Front Sunday.

​© 2020 by Rollo de Sausmarez for Guernsey Bicycle Group (using the power of WIX). 


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