Winter and the clocks going back inevitably means shorter days and colder weather. So, let’s look to our neighbours in the windier, rainy Netherlands for advice on carrying on cycling walking and scooting happily through the winter.
Ross Levy- Transport Planner for Cycling and Walking at Nottingham City Council shares top tips for active and sustainable travel during the winter.
- Travel like you know them The Highway Code changed in January 2022; you can familiarise yourself with the key changes here. The most important is that those with the greater potential to cause harm, such as car and lorry drivers, must keep more vulnerable road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders, safe, including giving way to them when they are crossing the road.
- Make your vehicle winter safe Get tips on driving in the cold and snow from the AA, and ensure you use your lights and de-ice properly to keep everyone safe
- Be safe Especially if travelling when its dark, high-viz clothing is advised (and can be an extra layer for warmth!) If cycling, your bike may require extra maintenance to ensure it is safe in the winter. In wetter weather, be attentive to your chain, wheels and brakes! Our friends at Sustrans have got some more tips on safe winter cycling here. Also, don’t forget that bike lights and reflectors at night are a legal requirement. If looking for safer cycling routes, our cycle maps highlight segregated routes. You can keep an eye on our website for updates on improves to cycling infrastructure across the city! Information bike safety and secure parking of bikes can be found here.
- Be considerate As is detailed on our cycle map, some paths may be shared between pedestrians and cyclists. Users of our E-scooter trial are also permitted to use the same spaces as cyclists. People may therefore be travelling at different speeds and individuals may be of different abilities. Therefore, if travelling by bike or e-scooter, make sure you have a bell to make yourself heard!
- Be sociable Winter can result in a change in our mood and energy levels and we may feel lethargic or unmotivated. Know a colleague who lives nearby to you? Want to take a trip to the shops? Why not travel actively with friends or family! Socialising whilst travelling can help you to connect with others – improving self-worth and a sense of belonging.
- Be flexible Able to work and commute flexibly? Make the most out of it and the precious daylight by travelling before it gets dark. This can help you to get active during the day and this can subsequently improve your mood and productivity. You could also make use of our Cycle Parks or Park and Ride sites plus our lime e-bikes to get around to link up with public transport. Looking to transport cargo from A to B? Have a look at our exciting e-cargo bike hire scheme.
- Be active Staying active through autumn and winter is so important for vitamin D levels and mental health and wellbeing. Nottingham residents can now use the FREE Go Jauntly walking app to discover new walks and routes near them
- Be informed Nottingham City Council has ambitions to become a cleaner and greener city, and to be carbon neutral by 2028. Stay informed about our latest news and projects throughout the winter and beyond by visiting our website, signing up to our newsletter and following us on social media – search “Transport Nottingham”.
Active and sustainable travel brings several benefits for individuals and communities. This blog has touched on the health benefits for individuals.
Additionally, in today’s challenging economic climate, active travel can help us save hundreds of pounds. As reported by Sustrans, it now costs on average around £90-£100 to fill up a car and £3,500 annually.
For cycling as an example, Nottingham has several charitable organisations who can provide free or even low-cost bike maintenance, hire or rides. Check out the social medias or website of RideWise, or Bikeworks and keep checking our website for more information!
Travelling actively as part of your commute or as part of daily life can help you to contribute to Nottingham’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2028. Reducing our carbon footprint will improve our communities’ air quality – making our streets more liveable for todays and future generations.
Let’s Keep Nottingham Moving this Winter!