Cycle safety and security

On this page you can find tips for keeping both you and your bicycle safe and secure. Use the links below to take you to our tips.

Using your lights: Be Safe, Be Seen

Using your lights: Be Safe, Be Seen

People on bicycles on Whiteknights campus

Cycling responsibly: being safe and considerate

Keeping your bike secure

Keeping your bike secure

Always use your lights at night!

Reasons why this small part of bike safety is so important:

  • You can get a £50 fine for cycling without lights at night in the UK.
  • It is inconsiderate and unsafe for other path users on campus – they can’t see you coming, and even if you don’t hit them it can scare / stress them.
  • Drivers can’t see you so you’re risking your own safety.

Follow the advice of Cycling UK to ensure you can always be seen when cycling.

Cycling responsibly on and off campus

This is both for your own safety and the safety of others around you. Be sure you're aware of the guidelines for use of campus paths and roads from Health and Safety. Cycle safety equipment including lights and locks are available to purchase from Security Services online shop.

  • Be visible! If you are cycling at night please ensure you have both front and rear lights that are strong enough to be seen. Also wear reflectors. It's illegal not to have lights and you might be stopped.
  • Don't ride on the pavement unless it is a designated cycle route. Bicycles are considered vehicles and so it is illegal in this country to cycle on the pavement unless it is a marked cycle route. If you do chose to cycle on the pavement be aware that it is you who is in the wrong place, and cycle slowly and considerately of pedestrians.
  • On shared paths be considerate of other road users, particularly pedestrians and do not cycle closely past people at speed. Give clear indications of your intentions, where you are turning etc.
  • Wear a helmet. This is not a legal requirement, but ensures that should you have an accident your head will be protected.
  • Obey the rules of the road. Not doing so gives cyclists a bad name and puts you and others in danger. Do not run red lights.
  • Be aware that drivers of large vehicles cannot see you if you are in their blind spot alongside them. Never undertake large vehicles like lorries and buses as the driver may not realise you and there and you may be crushed.

If you would like any further help or advice please email us and we can put you in touch with someone who may be able to provide training or a cycle buddy.

Be clued up about laws for cycling in the UK - yes there are some! Read the Highway Code here.

Keeping your bike secure

Cycle theft is a big problem in many locations in the UK, and Reading is no exception. We are working hard to try to reduce these figures, but there is a lot you can do to help us to help you. See also advice from our University Security Services on cycle security.

To help prevent theft please follow these tips:

Know your bike's details!

  • Know your frame number. Thames Valley Police recover hundreds of potentially stolen bicycles each year but have no way of reuniting them with owners who don't know the frame number. Not sure how to find yours? Bring it to the Security window in Whiteknights House and let Security help you from Security Services.
  • Mark your bike with your postcode and house number. Or get your bike a free security label and from Security Services where this will be done for you.

Store and lock your bike!

  • Try to park your bike in a location that is overlooked by offices or people regularly passing by, not hidden away.
  • Use a good D-lock rather than a soft cable lock to secure your bike (one listed by Sold Secure Discounted locks are available to purchase from the Security window in Whiteknights House.
  • Remember to put the lock through both your wheel and frame before securing to the stand. Try to fill the lock as much as possible, space gives easier access for the lock to be cut or broken. For extra security use two D-locks, one to the front, one to the rear of your bike. Watch the following programme if you want to see just how quickly your locks can be broken:
  • Don't leave your bike unattended overnight unless it's in secure storage.
  • It's recommended you get your bike insured.
  • If you intend to leave your bike for an extended period then inform security so that we don't assume it has been abandoned. If you no longer want your bike please don't just abandon it - donate it to our bike responsive scheme so someone else can use it.
  • If you think a bike has been abandoned on campus please inform security on x7799 so they can start the procedure for having it removed. The University's abandoned bicycle policy is available here.

If you see anyone acting suspiciously around bikes on campus (or anywhere on campus) please call security on 0118 378 6300 for emergencies, or for general enquiries 0118 378 7799.

Security Services also provide advice on safe cycling here:

More information on how to keep your bike safe can be found in this handy guide from the Home Office: Steer Clear of Cycle Theft

Skip to content