Monday, 7 September 2009

Bikesafe scheme goes from strength to strength

An innovative scheme that aims to reduce motorcycle casualties and provide education to riders on road safety is going from strength to strength in North Wales.

Bikesafe North Wales now facilitates up to 10% of the UK’s market for Bikesafe education, and are providing more education per head than any other police force in the country, apart from the Metropolitan Police.

The scheme, which is facilitated by North Wales Police and supported by all six local authorities, offers free two-day workshops for up to 600 bikers a year.

Since the inception of the North Wales Local Authority Rider Scheme last year the six authorities of North Wales – Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham, have supported North Wales Police’s Bikesafe scheme by helping to fund two-day workshop for motorcyclists who are residents of North Wales.

The workshops – which are normally £100, offer practical advice about road safety and educate riders by passing on knowledge and skills to try and help motorcyclists become safer riders. The workshops also include FBoS training (First Bike on Scene) which means first response and first aid training for bikers.

This scheme has fused the North Wales Road Safety Group - which includes North Wales Police, the NHS, and the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service to deliver a quality and high quantity risk awareness course with on road practical demonstration and assessment. It is also supported by the volunteer observers who are sometimes off duty police officers and civilian advanced riders.

Paul Cheshire, North Wales Bikesafe Co-ordinator said: “So far this year, those killed or seriously injured by biker crashes have fallen by a massive 46% compared to the same period last year, but we are not complacent and North Wales Police continue to be concerned at the level of collisions involving motorcyclists.

He added: “Bikesafe has now become a well known police initiative that engages with bikers to educate them in better road management skills. This is all about providing enforcement balanced with education.”

In summer 2009, Gwynedd County Council were so impressed with the scheme that they purchased a motorcycle, which will assist in delivering sessions and help to develop the Bikesafe facility within Gwynedd. North Wales Fire and Rescue Service have also been providing ‘biker drop-in surgeries’ at venues across Gwynedd.

Paul Cheshire added: “This is not all about hard hitting enforcement. It’s about offering a range of training opportunities to motorcyclists of all abilities to help reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads.”

Chief Inspector Gary Ashton said "North Wales Police has developed a joined up approach to reduce the numbers of people killed and injured whilst riding motorcycles, which involves enforcement against those intent on riding unlawfully, engineering out some specific risks to motorcyclists and educating riders through the Bikesafe scheme.

“By making Bikesafe free to residents of North Wales through the Local Authority scheme, we're seeking to engage with as wide an audience of motorcyclists as possible to ensure they become more thoughtful and responsible riders."

If you are a resident of North Wales and would like to participate in a free Bikesafe course please contact Paul Cheshire, North Wales Bikesafe Co-ordinator on 01492 804155 or email –

Places are limited and course dates will be confirmed on application.

Further details regarding the Bikesafe scheme can be obtained via the national website –


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