Caitlynne Picot and Tim Robinson at the Spring Bank Bike Lights for Dark Nights Event
Caitlynne Picot, travel plan officer (business), and Tim Robinson, active travel infrastructure engineer, from Hull City Council at a Bike Lights for Dark Nights event on Spring Bank

Council campaign to support cyclists to ‘stay safe and stay seen’ hailed a success

A council campaign to support cyclists in Hull to stay safe and stay seen during the winter months has been hailed a success, following a final pop-up event this week.

Hull City Council’s popular Bike Lights for Dark Nights initiative returned in October of last year, when the clocks went back, and saw nine events take place at various locations across the city, with the final event taking place on Spring Bank, ahead of the clocks going forward again.

Funded by Safer Roads Humber, the initiative identified and supported poorly illuminated cyclists by providing free bike lights and reflective gear as well as educating them on the importance of being visible and the need to ride in accordance with the law, with the aim of reducing collisions on the city’s roads.

Across the nine events, staff from the council, Safer Roads Humber and Humberside Police engaged with hundreds of cyclists and issued 227 sets of bike lights and 102 hi-vis rucksack covers.

Through the council’s ongoing travel plan engagement with businesses and organisations in the city, staff also visited some of the city’s largest employers, including Hull Royal Infirmary and the University of Hull, to provide 136 bike light sets and 109 hi-vis rucksack covers to their staff to help keep commuting cyclists safe on the roads.

Bike Lights for Dark Nights flag, with Hull City Council staff, a bike and cycle accessories
Councillor Mark Ieronimo, cabinet portfolio holder for transportation, roads and highways, and Caitlynne Picot, travel plan officer (business), with a hi-vis rucksack cover and bike lights that will be allocated to cyclists as part of the Bike Lights for Dark Nights initiative

Councillor Mark Ieronimo, cabinet portfolio holder for transportation, roads and highways, said: “The positive feedback we received from those cyclists we engaged with, as part of this initiative, has highlighted the importance of being proactive on this road safety issue.

“With the number of people in our city choosing to cycle increasing, we, as a council, have a vital role to play in helping cyclists stay safe and stay seen on the roads during the dark nights of winter.

“It is very important that cyclists are as visible as possible when riding at night and that all members of the travelling public look out for each other and that is what the messaging for this campaign has been all about.

“In addition to the public engagement work that we and our partners have done, we have also issued hundreds of items of safety equipment and have seen the campaign highlighted by both the local and national media, including BBC Breakfast.”

“Safer Roads Humber was pleased to provide the funds for the equipment that has been given out across the city,” said Ruth Gore, a spokesperson for the road safety partnership.

“It is important that every road user takes responsibility for the safety of themselves and others.

“We encourage people walking and those on two wheels to ‘be bright, be seen’ and we urge all drivers to take that extra look for more vulnerable road users, as it’s important that we all ‘share the road’.”

The nine events, between October 2023 and March 2024, followed an initial phase of the campaign in January 2023, when six events ran at various locations across Hull, including on Spring Bank, Anlaby Road, Beverley Road/Clough Road and Freetown Way.

The council also partnered with R-evolution, Pearson Park Mosque, Case Training, and the University of Hull to donate lights and hi-vis to them for allocation.

This activity resulted in dozens of cyclists, both adults and children, being engaged with and 288 sets of bike lights and 262 hi-vis rucksack covers being issued.

Following the success of the campaign, the council will be looking to prepare a further bid for funding to run Bike Lights for Dark Nights again in winter 2024/25.

Roadworks signs