Advice for Students

Are you a student in London? Have you thought about cycling in the city?

It can be a great, cheap and easy way to travel around. It's not only good for you, it can also be quicke than public transport and will save you money to spend on other important things!

We can offer advice and tips on cycling in London, whether you're new to cycling or an experienced pedaller!

  • Use our Route-Planner to help you find the quietest or quickest way to cycle from a to b!
  • Campaign with us to help push for more improvements for cycling in London? Get in touch to find out how: getinvolved@lcc.org.uk

 TOP TIPS FOR SAFER CYCLING

 

These tips make the roads safer for you, and for other people. Novice and experienced cyclists alike can learn a lot from cycle training, so contact your local council to ask about free or subsidised lessons. You can read our full section on safer cycling in London here.

Be extra careful near large lorries

The majority of cyclist fatalities involve HGVs. Read our advice for safer cycling around lorries.

Cycle away from parked cars

Being car 'doored' is one of the most common causes of cycling crashes, and if struck you're in danger from behind run over by cars behind you. Always ride at least a metre, if not more, away from parked cars so you can avoid doors opening in your path.

Beware of fast-moving traffic

Motorbikes and scooters often go much faster than other road users. They can come up behind you very quickly, so always check behind you before moving sideways, even within your own lane.

Take special care at junctions

Most crashes happen at junctions so take extra care, especially when there are multiple lanes and vehicles are moving fast.

Don't use poor cycle lanes or tracks

Cycle lanes (part of the roadway) or cycle tracks (segregated) can increase safety, but many in London are of poor quality: too short, give way to side streets, too narrow, put you in an unsafe riding position, blocked by parked cars or rubbish, and so on. Don't see them as an automatic route to reducing risk.

Be an assertive cyclist

You have the same right to use the streets as other road users. It's safer to ride at least a metre from the kerb or parked cars so you can avoid opening car doors, and you're more visible to other road users, such as those pulling out from side roads or approaching from behind.

Try to make eye contact

Make positive eye contact with other road users, including those who might turn into your path from side roads, and those driving behind you, or when you're waiting at traffic lights. Don't be afraid to smile, and be sure to thank people when they're courteous.

Use appropriate hand signals

It's safer, and good manners, to signal when turning in the vicinity of other road users, including other cyclists and pedestrians.

Be considerate to people on foot

Slow down and give pedestrians lots of space on shared paths, where they always have priority. When cycling along busy streets, go at a speed that'll allow you to avoid someone who steps off the pavement into your path.

Use lights at night

It's a legal requirement to use lights at night; also consider wearing light or high-visibility clothing or adding reflective material to your bike or luggage.

Take extra care in bad weather

Allow extra room to manoeuvre or stop, and give other road users extra space as they might need more braking time and have reduced visibility.

Don't ride through red lights or on pavements

These actions can be hazardous or frightening to others, especially those on foot. It's also a potential danger to yourself and is against the law. These actions are a major source of conflict with other road users, and unfairly present cyclists as frequent lawbreakers.

Don't use your phone on your bike

Using a mobile phone cycling distracts your attention from the road, which is dangerous for you and other road users.

Carry baggage sensibly

Consider buying panniers, a rack, basket or a rucksack: dangling shopping from handlebars or carrying bags under one arm makes it riding more risky.

Look after your bike

Check your tyre pressure and brakes regularly. Contact your local group to find out about maintenance courses near you or contact us to organise a Dr Bike for your workplace, school or community group.

Communicate calmly

If another road user's actions cause you alarm, by all means explain this to them when it's safe to do so, but do it in a reasonable manner. If you shout at them angrily, they won't listen.

Lock your bike!

For the best deterrent you should be using two good locks to secure your bicycle, preferably of two different kinds so that a thief can’t use the same tools on both. Good locks tend to be anywhere from £25- £80 and, whilst this may seem extravagant, it’s almost certainly cheaper than buying a new bike! Read our full guidance on how to lock your bike properly.