A COUNTY-WIDE campaign has been launched to help keep users safe on Cheshire's roads.

Beginning today, the Cheshire Road Safety Group's (CRSG) Share the Road 2022 campaign features a week-long programme of events to raise awareness around the issue.

The ambition of the campaign is to prevent avoidable serious and fatal collisions on the county’s roads.

Some of the key lessons being shared during the campaign include knowing how to carefully pass a cyclist or biker, being aware of HGV or tractor blind spots and allowing time for pedestrians to cross the road.

Share the Road features a series of events, running until Friday, May 20, including a radio awareness campaign and branding on buses across the county.

All events are free to attend, visitors can pick up helpful tips and get expert advice from road safety professionals.

These include:

  • National Highways will be focusing on commercial vehicles’ blind spots and tyre treads at Lymm Services
  • Warrington Borough Council is hosting a “Close Pass Awareness” event at IKEA on the Gemini Retail Park
  • Halton Borough Council is running “Pedestrians Look, Don’t Like” at Widnes market
  • Thursday sees “Close Pass Awareness” aimed at cyclists hosted by Chester and Cheshire West Council
  • Throughout the week Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Cheshire Fire bike with a police rider will be travelling across the county with “Motorcycle Awareness” and sign posting motorcyclists to the Bikerdown and Bikesafe initiatives

Head of Cheshire Police’s Roads and Crime Unit & Response, T/Superintendent Sarah Heath, said: "Cheshire is a diverse county made up of bustling city and town centres and sleepy villages.

"The roads network reflects that diversity with some of the country’s busiest stretches of motorway, main artery routes and quiet rural lanes. 

"Horse riders, cyclists and walkers are so lucky to have a great choice of scenic routes to enjoy.

"Tractor drivers, motorbike riders and motorists also share these roads so it’s important that we’re all aware of how to be mindful of our own and each other’s safety. 

"Our officers know only too well what it’s like to attend a road traffic collision and how devastating the consequences can be.

"It’s particularly upsetting when it’s due to someone’s impatience or lack of consideration for the other road users involved. 

"If people understand and give more thought to those that they’re sharing the roads with, we can make Cheshire’s roads safer than ever."

Ryan Swindells, the station manager for road safety at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "We’ve seen an increase in the number of motorcyclists hurt on our roads in recent years so will be directing our attention to them as part of the week.

"We want to reduce the number of casualties on the roads so will be highlighting some of the dangers to help them avoid a crash.

"To help with this we will have a Cheshire Fire liveried motorbike and its rider out on the road to speak to fellow riders about such things as wearing the correct clothing, dehydration and general motorbike riding advice. 

"Actions taken in the first few moments after an accident can be crucial in minimising injuries and can make a real difference to the lives of those involved, so our staff will also be educating people on what to do if they are first on the scene and come across a rider in difficulty.”

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, highways and strategic transport, Councillor Karen Shore, said: "I’m delighted that the Council has been able to support this important campaign by arranging the Close Pass event in Northwich.

"Our previous event, held in Chester city centre, was a fantastic day of collaborative work at which vital messages were delivered to a huge number of people.

“Our Road Safety team has said there were interesting discussions with both drivers and riders, often the same person.

"Drivers said using the close pass mat on the ground really made them think about the appropriate passing distance to ensure cyclists were kept safe.

"Many thanks to the partners and Council officers involved in the events and spreading these important messages."