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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 November 2007, 13:12 GMT
'Be polite' message to cyclists
Bike polite band
The Bike Polite band can be worn on the ankle or wrist
Cyclists in Edinburgh are being urged to be more considerate.

Spokes, a cycle campaign group, is celebrating its 30th anniversary by mounting a "Bike Polite" campaign.

A total of 10,000 reflective trouser bands featuring the slogan are being distributed through the city's cycle shops.

Ian Maxwell, of Spokes, said that although most cyclists behave correctly there had been a number of complaints about reckless and selfish cyclists.

"This campaign is necessary because of the increasing number of cyclists in Edinburgh", he said.

Cycling is a sociable activity, and we recommend that cyclists say hello and smile at people when riding past
Ian Maxwell

"Although the vast majority of cyclists behave properly, we do receive complaints about the reckless or selfish behaviour of some cyclists."

The Bike Polite code covers four key problem areas - shared footpaths, canal towpaths, red traffic lights and riding after dark.

Mr Maxwell said: "Although cyclists can mix perfectly safely with pedestrians on shared paths, they do have to slow down when passing and warn people when they approach from behind.

"Unlike the driver stuck inside a car, cycling is a sociable activity, and we recommend that cyclists say hello and smile at people when riding past."

Dark nights

Canal tow paths are often very narrow and sight lines can be restricted at bridges. But Mr Maxwell said these problems can be overcome if cyclists slow down when passing other canal users.

He added that cyclists who ignored red traffic lights were forgetting their responsibilities as road users.

The final point in the code is a reminder to use front and rear lights after dark.

Mr Maxwell said modern LED cycle lights are cheap and reliable.

"We want to highlight this message now", he said. "Many cyclists will be riding home after work in the dark now that the clocks have changed, and we want to remind them how easy it is to light up."

The Bike Polite trouser bands can be worn around ankles or wrists.

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