First birthday celebrations for bus driver cycle awareness training.
National Express West Midlands and Centro have celebrated a successful year of delivering 2WheelsAware courses for trainee bus drivers.
More than 400 new bus drivers have attended the cycle awareness courses as part of their NXWM induction since March 2015. The half-day courses, at the NXWM Walsall training site, include both classroom and practical on the road sessions. Instructors from BikeRight! deliver the training, which aims to teach drivers about sharing the road with cyclists and how to drive safely in urban areas.
Centro, the delivery arm of the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority has jointly funded the courses, through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, along with NXWM. BikeRight! also provides cycle training and maintenance classes for adults as part of the West Midlands Smart Network, Smarter Choices project and BikeRight! cycling instructors recently took part in a ‘driver challenge’ day with National Express, to look at things from a bus driver’s perspective.
Chris Perry, Centro’s director of integrated mobility, said: “We have set ambitious targets for cycling in the West Midlands ITA’s Cycling Charter and, as we encourage more people to get on their bikes, we must ensure safety is a priority. This innovative training is really important both for improving cyclists’ confidence on the roads and helping drivers to understand the needs of cyclists.”
Mark Simcox, NXWM head of training and driver recruitment, said: “The 2WheelsAware course is now an integral part of our new driver training and feedback from drivers is overwhelmingly positive. We are now running the courses all year round and, so far, we have never had to cancel due to bad weather!”
Andy Tucker, marketing manager for BikeRight!, added: “Drivers get to go out on bikes with qualified cycling instructors in real traffic situations – this is what makes the course so effective and gets such positive feedback.”