There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but cyclists who travel through London’s Square Mile will at least be able to get themselves a very light breakfast on Monday. As well as fruit, the City of London will also be handing out free bike lights and other safety gear to mark the first working day after the clocks go back.
The City of London is keen to encourage more people to ride bikes and recently set out plans to remove cars from half of its streets and implement a 15mph speed limit.
Those are plans for the coming years though. In the shorter term, events will be held on Blackfriars Bridge in the morning and evening of Monday October 29, encouraging cyclists who live, work or travel through the Square Mile to carry lights.
The first 250 cyclists to attend the morning event (7-9.30am) will be offered free lights, a free brake check and fresh fruit.
Those attending the evening session (5-7pm) will also be offered free lights, as well as reflective vests and backpack covers.
The City of London Police will be on hand to offer bike marking to prevent theft, while the Metropolitan Police will make use of virtual reality gear to help cyclists see what a driver sees and understand their blind spots.
The campaign is being delivered through the City of London Corporation’s Active City Network, and the City of London Police, Thames Tideway and the Metropolitan Police.
Alison Gowman, City of London Corporation representative on the London Road Safety Council and Chair of the Active City Network, said: “More than 500,000 workers commute into the Square Mile every day so ensuring road safety is a top priority. As a growing number of City workers choose to cycle, it is important that they take steps to ensure they can be seen by other road users in the dark.
“This campaign will help cyclists stand out in the dark, wintry nights over the coming months. Our ultimate aim is to prevent accidents and ensure the City’s streets are safe for all.”
Inspector Paul Doyle, from the City of London Police’s Transport & Highways Operations Group, said: “It’s easy to get caught out when the weather changes or the clocks go back and be left without the right equipment.
“It’s really important that all road users remember how to stay safe but also legal when travelling through the City.
“Ensuring you can be seen is a crucial part of keeping yourself and other road users safe and preventing accidents from occurring.”