Professional drivers are being given training to make them more aware of cyclists on the road.
Merseyside Road Safety Partnership has provided funding for the training which is aimed at making drivers more aware of the risks of vulnerable road users and help them avoid accidents.
The course aims to help drivers understand cycling, recognize hazards and give them guidance on how to avoid them, reinforce the Highway Code and emphasise the importance of the use of mirrors and the potential dangers of blind spots.
Drivers from Liverpool Street Scene services, which includes refuse collectors and street cleansers, are among those who have already benefited from the training which is provided by BikeRight, the cycle training organisation.
The course also offers the opportunity to gain practical experience of cycling on the roads accompanied by qualified National Standards cycling instructors.
Councilor Malcolm Kennedy, cabinet member for regeneration and transport, said: “As cycling in the city increases in popularity and more journeys are made by bike it is important that all drivers are aware of cyclists.”
Councillor Tim Beaumont, Mayoral Lead for Wellbeing, said: “This course is specifically tailored for those who drive for a living, and Streetscene employees have taken part to enable them to better assess situations involving cyclists and ultimately avoid accidents.”
Liz Clarke, managing director of BikeRight!, said: “Courses aimed at LGV drivers have a positive impact on road safety. Getting drivers out of their vehicles and on to bicycles on busy roads is a real eye opener. After just a few minutes sharing the road with heavy traffic the penny really drops about how challenging it is for cyclists using city centre streets.”
All of the courses are approved by the Freight Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS) and contribute to drivers Certificate of Professional Competence, or DriverCPC as it is known in the industry. The course is also available for bus and coach drivers and has been incorporated in to new bus driver training by Merseytravel.
Matthew Chamberlain, Employment and Skills Officer for Merseytravel added: “Working closely with BikeRight!, Merseytravel’s employment and skills team successfully piloted the driver training course into new bus driver training programme.
“Road safety is of primary concern and adding this course gives Merseyside’s new bus drivers the knowledge and understanding of cycle users before they start work behind the wheel of a bus. This course is now a necessity and we are seeing first-hand the positive impact this has on our learners and for all road users, not just cyclists.”