Sustrans wins Road Safety Award for promoting safe cycling

Sustrans Cycling Coordinator Karen Mawhinney

Sustrans Cycling Coordinator Karen Mawhinney

Karen Mawhinney training children bike skills

Sustrans Cycling Coordinator Karen Mawhinney training children to cycle safely

25 November 2016

We are delighted to have won a Road Safety Award for our dedicated work to promote safe cycling in Northern Ireland.

Supported by Road Safe NI, and sponsored by accident management firm, CRASH Services, the Northern Ireland Road Safety Awards recognise the work taking place within schools, emergency services, voluntary, public and private sectors and by key individuals across Northern Ireland.

A key aim for us is to increase the number of people cycling but the main barrier often cited by the public is road safety. Through practical projects and advocacy work, we work to enable more people to cycle safely. In 2015 we developed a Cycle Skills Training team in Northern Ireland to offer professional on-road cycle training to the public.

We are delighted to win this award which recognises the major contribution we have made to encourage and train people to cycle safely.

- Karen Mawhinney Sustrans

We developed a range of tailored cycle training courses to suit organisations, such as charities and workplaces, as well as individual bespoke sessions. These have given people the confidence and skills to cycle more safely on our roads.

One of the biggest groups we work with is school-children. We deliver on-road cycle training through the Active School Travel Programme which has worked with nearly 200 schools across Northern Ireland to encourage pupils to walk, cycle or scoot to school. We have trained 2,244 pupils in National Standard Levels 1 & 2. The project has helped reduce congestion around school gates which are particularly hazardous areas for children and improved pupils’ awareness of road safety, such as wearing hi-visibility clothing and cycling safely.

We have continued to deliver the Safe Urban Driving Skills course to HGV drivers, developed with the Freight Transport Association. We extended the course to FleetSource and to date have trained 188 lorry drivers to improve safety on the road for cyclists.

Sustrans also produced the first major public survey of cycling in the UK, Bike Life with a specific report on cycling in Belfast.  This has been an important lobbying tool to increase funding for safer cycling infrastructure.

Karen Mawhinney, Sustrans Cycle Training Co-ordinator said: “We are delighted to win this award which recognises the major contribution we have made to encourage and train people to cycle safely.”

Tony McKeown, Sales and Marketing Director at CRASH Services, said: “We were delighted with the outstanding success and feedback received from the inaugural NI Road Safety Awards last year. Together, it is vitally important that we properly and fully recognise the hard work, commitment and thought that goes into helping keep our roads safe.”

The gala awards ceremony took place at Cultra Manor, near Belfast on Friday 25 November as part of Road Safety Week.

Find out about our cycle training courses

Read about Belfast Bike Life