Lothian has partnered with Cycling Scotland to provide all its drivers with bespoke Practical Cycle Awareness training.
Over 1700 drivers, managers and supervisors will take part in the course which has been designed to be fun, interactive and includes a short 90 minute cycling activity close to the companies Longstone Training Centre in Edinburgh.
The cycle route has been specifically planned to highlight key issues facing cyclists in relation to other vehicles, particularly buses and HGV’s.
The initiative is a first for the UK Bus Industry and is part of their annual compulsory Certificate of Professional Competence training,
Two of Lothian’s training centre team have been specially trained by Cycling Scotland to become qualified Cycling Instructors and lead the course.
The company has also invested in a fleet of Raleigh Pioneer hybrid bikes, which will be maintained in house, for use during the training across the year.
Richard Hall, managing director of Lothian, said: “Following feedback from previous CPC training courses we thought long and hard about how we could make the course more interactive and increase the level of learning for all our staff.  Working in partnership with Cycling Scotland, we are proud to be the first bus operator in the UK to introduce this bespoke practical cycle awareness training.
“This fantastic opportunity will assist us all in learning more about sharing road space and gaining a better understanding of the difficulties faced by other road users daily across our operating area, as well as having the ability going forward to influence these groups through our own actions.”
Valentin Jeanjean, Cycling Scotland development officer, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Lothian and it’s a great credit to them to be the first bus company to provide Practical Cycle Awareness Training for all drivers. More people are cycling in Edinburgh and this practical training, originally developed by Edinburgh Council, can help improve safety for all road users. We would encourage other bus and HGV fleet operators to provide this training to their drivers and contact us for details of the subsidised courses available from ourselves and Recyke-a-Bike.”
Councillor David Key, The City of Edinburgh Council’s Cycling Champion added: “Hats off to Lothian for their pioneering approach delivering this hugely beneficial training to their drivers. By raising awareness of the safest ways to interact and share the road with those travelling on two wheels, they’re helping make Edinburgh’s streets even safer for vulnerable road users.”
CPC Periodic Training is compulsory for anyone who holds a Passenger Carrying Vehicle driving license across the UK, with each individual required to carry out thirty-five hours of periodic training every five years. Lothian ensures this requirement is met by ensuring all drivers across the company have seven hours of CPC training each year.