LOTHIAN Buses has gone viral in its latest attempt to increase road safety for cyclists.
The company has posted its driver awareness video, Shadow Cyclist Vs Bus, on YouTube and the 11-minute clip has picked up positive comments from a host of Capital cyclists.
The video shows a bus driver shadowing a cyclist on a route through the city, with detailed advice relayed to the driver on how best to avoid accidents.
It is part of a campaign, entitled See and Be Seen, which has come about through the Streets Ahead organisation which sees Lothian Buses meet monthly with Edinburgh City Council, Spokes and Lothian and Borders Police, to discuss road safety in Edinburgh.
It has been given added weight by the death last month of 40-year-old father Bryan Simons, who was killed after being knocked off his bike. He was the fourth cyclist to die on the city’s roads in the past year.
The video was created for driver training and Lothian Buses always intended to put it online, but admitted the recent incident had highlighted how important it was for road users to be mindful of each other.
John Jardine, driving training manager at Lothian Buses, said: “The purpose of this video was to highlight the challenges faced by both drivers and cyclists daily.
“We made the short film to help make road users more aware of the space large vehicles need to manoeuvre, the space cyclists need and the importance for them to be seen.
“The film is now being used in our driver training programme for both new and existing drivers. Our drivers have said that it has helped them realise just how quickly cyclists can travel and the importance of using their mirrors regularly.”
Chris Hill, who runs the CityCyclingEdinburgh web forum, said: “The film is very good as it shows the perspectives of both driver and cyclist. As a cyclist you don’t often realise that the driver really cannot see you. Lothian Buses should be applauded for their efforts.”
Fellow cyclist Kim Harding of the Pedal on Parliament group said: “This video is great, it really does make you aware of the number of blindspots that bus drivers have.
“This film should be shown to all drivers, not just bus drivers. There’s a real momentum in the city regarding cycling safety. Let’s hope we can keep it going.”
Kim’s grassroots campaign group Pedal on Parliament is urging all Scotland’s cyclists to join a mass cycle on April 28. Round-the-world cyclist Mark Beaumont will lead the cavalcade from the Meadows at 2pm on the day. The group’s demands include more funding for cycling and training, and lower speed limits.