FORS funded on-cycle driver safety training is back on track following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

The practical on-cycle sessions form part of the FORS Professional Safe Urban Driving and Van Smart courses, and are aimed at helping HGV drivers experience the road from a cyclist’s viewpoint.

At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, FORS introduced a temporary relaxation of the on-cycle element, instead allowing drivers to meet the work-related road risk (WRRR) training requirements of the FORS Standard with only the theory session completed, with a requirement that the practical element be completed in 2022.

Now, in line with revised government guidelines, FORS has resumed offering funded face-to-face FORS Professional Safe Urban Driving and Van Smart, including the practical on-cycle sessions.

Sonia Hayward, FORS manager, said, “Many businesses are now beginning to welcome workers back to offices, and this, coupled with an increased desire to cycle for commuting and leisure, makes road safety training as important as ever. We are really pleased to be able to offer these funded places to members once again.

“Commercial vehicle drivers are well versed in navigating busy roads from the perspective of their HGV cab or van, but many will not have cycled on busy routes for several years – if at all – making the on-cycle training a very valuable learning experience for our members.”

The practical on-cycle element of FORS Professional Safe Urban Driving and Van Smart training aims to give commercial vehicle drivers first-hand experience of the challenges vulnerable road users face and heighten their awareness of their responsibility to all who use the road, with the classroom session focusing on how drivers can safely share the road.

Feedback shows that 89% of past participants believed their understanding of the issues faced by vulnerable road users had improved following their participation in a FORS Professional Safe Urban Driving and Van Smart on-cycle training session.

The course, which consists of two 3.5-hour modules, one classroom based and one practical, is also fully aligned to meet the requirements of the Construction Logistics & Community Safety (CLOCS) Standard and TfL’s WRRR standard. FORS Professional Safe Urban Driving is driver CPC accredited, and both courses are worth six CPD hours.

Hayward added: “When FORS asks commercial vehicle drivers to swap the HGV cab or their van for a bicycle during a practical training session, it can have a hugely positive impact on road safety. Practical sessions truly embed the theory-based learning, helping to upskill a driving workforce with the training they need to help improve safety for all road users.”