Go Cycle safely at night

Go cycle winter lights

As the clocks go back this Sunday, Kingston Council’s Go Cycle team will be out and about offering top tips for cyclists on how they can ride safely at night.

The team will be at commuter hubs across the borough throughout November offering free Go Cycle lights for cyclists.

Go Cycle sustainable transport planner Dan Quan said: 

“It’s important as the shorter days begin that cyclists are doing all they can to ensure they are as visible as possible on the roads. We have a mixed cycling community in Kingston and while seasoned riders may be confident cycling at night, we’re keen to ensure those who are newer to cycling are fully equipped for cycling in the winter months.”

Kingston Council is working towards the development of more segregated and improved cycle paths across the borough. The Go Cycle programme is aimed at helping to change the way people travel around Kingston. It also supports the Mayor’s Healthy Streets Programme, aimed at improving the health of Londoners by encouraging more people to take up cycling and walking as sustainable transport options.

The Go Cycle programme includes 10 linked routes across the borough, which will, wherever possible, connect to existing disjointed cycling infrastructure to creating a borough-wide cycling network, with improvements to footpaths and public spaces.

The first route along Portsmouth Road is now complete, while three other projects (Wheatfield Way, Kingston Station and Surbiton to Kingston) are under construction.

Go Cycle portfolio lead Councillor Terry Paton said: 

“November marks a year since the new two-way segregated lane on Portsmouth Road was finished and already we’ve seen a 20 per cent increase in cycling on Portsmouth Road.

“Go Cycle is aimed at encouraging more people to take up alternative modes of transport, and we want people to be able to do this year round. Through the provision of more segregated cycle lanes, coupled with our education campaigns, like the winter Go Safely campaign, we hope that even more people choose to take up cycling in the borough.”

Go Cycle - go safely

The Go Cycle team will at the following locations handing out night safety advice and free bike lights:

  • Kingston Station - Wednesday 8 November: 4pm to 7pm
  • New Malden Station - Wednesday 15 November: 4pm to 7pm
  • Surbiton Station - Wednesday 22 November: 4pm to 7pm

Top 10 tips for night cycling:

When the days are shorter it is more important than ever to ensure your bicycle is not only road worthy but also kitted correctly for night use:

  • Your front light must be white and have a 110 degree visibility
  • Your rear light must be red
  • Front and rear lights are allowed to flash
  • Keep your front and rear reflectors clean and clear of mud
  • Hi-visibility clothing is an ideal way of staying visible during dusk and dark nights
  • Add reflective items to body parts that move, i.e. shoes with reflective strips, reflective wristbands and gloves
  • If wearing a backpack or rucksack ensure it has reflective strips
  • You could also improve visibility by wearing a rear light on your backpack or your helmet
  • Ensure the batteries in your lights are always in full working order and not running low. It may be worthwhile to have a backup set while riding
  • Consider your route before you head off, some parks may be closed and other areas will have reduced lighting.