Case Studies

Creating a City for Cycling

It seems like a long time ago that we announced that the University of York would be the first in the world to introduce Cycle Alert on to its network of Unibuses and with University of York Students in 2013.

18 months on and the team is growing, the momentum is gargantuan, cycling in York is at an all-time high and the brand continues to expand and evolve in its efforts to offer preventative safety for York cyclists.

York is a city renowned for its progressive approach to city planning and sustainable transportation having introduced a pedestrianised city centre more than 25 years ago.

The hard work has paid off with York being able to boast some of the best cycling infrastructure in Britain, which has resulted in the rapid growth of the York cyclist and has been further galvanised by its recent hosting of the opening of Le Tour de France.

(For more info on our time at Le Grand Départ visit here.)

York is a fantastic city for cycling with a solid safety record, and as the trend in new cyclists continues to incline, York continues to stay one step ahead of the game in its approach to cycle safety with an attitude that is very much “polish the brass whilst it’s shiny, don’t wait for the brass to tarnish”.

And so, it has been an absolute joy (albeit a long commute!) to have launched Cycle Alert in York, as both a trial and in a bid to raise the profile of cycling in York among the city’s student population.

Fiona Macey, Sustainable Transport and Travel Mananger, University of York, said:

“We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Transdev Unibus and the City of York Council to be the first UK city to pioneer the use of Cycle Alert on our University bus fleet.  The University is committed to promoting sustainable modes of travel and Cycle Alert will be a huge benefit to our cyclists and city wide.”

Well that was back in 2013 and we’re still going strong.  Independent market research released from Actionline research dictates that 88% of Transdev drivers using Cycle Alert give the system a positive rating, and a whopping 95% recommended that it should be used by other bus companies in the city.

Here, market researcher Jean Sutton tells us about her findings:

Following the success of the the 2014 trials, Cycle Alert has seen an organic growth in the number of Cycle Alert users and is delighted that First York is now also using the Cycle Alert system.

The installing of Cycle Alert on to First York’s buses shows the same commitment to protecting cyclists from harm. First York’s Stuart Fillingham said, “The Cycle Alert system, a standard retrofit in our “yourbus″ services, can detect and warn the driver to avoid collisions with cyclists.  By exploring this safety technology we are closing the gap to eliminate the remaining blind spots on buses and by that, avoid collisions and protect road-users.”

He added, “With the number of people cycling in York rising, it’s important we continue to make our services as safe as possible.”

It can be nerve-racking, both as a driver in being responsible for protecting vulnerable road users on your watch, and as a vulnerable road user who is new to cycling in York.

But the Cycle Alert initiative is encouraging road users to overcome the obstacles through increased conversation between both parties.  As drivers have taken to bikes in a bid to see the roads from the cyclists’ perspectives, so cyclists will experience the blind-spots in the bus cab through our Exchanging Places events.  By experiencing both perspectives of the road and both sides of the Cycle Alert operation – cycle tag and vehicle kit – we hope to promote mutual respect and more considerate road user behaviour.

There’s a tonne of stuff we love about cycling in York and our great friendships, some of it is listed below:

Post-Ride Bacon Butties!

You needn’t look no further that Your Bike Shed for fab breakfasts and homemade cakes in an awesome atmosphere.  A real treasure; check ’em out right here…

York has the Best Bus-Wraps!

Not only is the University of York home to, among other things, an Anime Society, Fetish Society and a Taylor Swift society, they’ve also got a bus fleet covered in crazy graphics.  It’s awesome I love it!

York Rouleurs

For anyone new to cycling, for anyone old to cycling, for anyone who wants to ride socially but has reticence about the level of commitment involved, York Rouleurs is, well, it’s for just about anybody!  Here’s where you can find out more…