International Ambassadors, November 2018

Getting around campus safely

Keep safe while travelling to and from uni

You'll spend a lot of time travelling around campus during your time at uni. Whether walking to campus for your morning lecture, doing your weekly food shop or going on a night out with friends.

There are plenty of ways to get around your university city. From catching the bus or train, riding your bike, getting a cab or even getting a ferry. No matter how you travel, staying safe while you're getting to where you need to be is important.

Follow our tips and advice on how to stay safe while travelling around campus and beyond.

Safety on public transport

Public transport is a great way to get around your campus and surrounding areas. Buses and trains keep you connected to the places that are important. And some universities have a free bus service.

Public transport safety tips

When taking a bus, train or ferry, consider the following advice:

  • Plan your route before you set off
  • Keep a timetable readily available, on your phone or persons
  • Stay in a well-lit area if you're waiting at night
  • Keep your valuables close to you and secure in a bag, purse or deep in your pockets
  • If you can, travel with a friend
  • If you're wearing headphones, keep the volume low so you can hear announcements
  • Know where you can ask for help – either a driver, guard or emergency phone
  • Move to where the driver is, if someone is making you uncomfortable or unsafe, and let them know
  • Notify staff if you see something that is suspicious, out of place or unattended
  • Time your arrival at a stop or station a couple minutes ahead of the bus or train, so you aren't waiting too long

Bike safety

A bike is a fantastic way to get around campus, it's cheap, easy and keeps you fit. But there are some things to remember when keeping yourself and your bike safe:

  • Keep your bike well maintained – if your bicycle develops a problem visit a local repairer like Bicycle Recycling to have it serviced
  • Keep an emergency kit handy such as an inner tube or puncture kit
  • Make sure your bike is fitted with lights
  • Remember that in wet weather you're harder to see, stopping takes longer and surfaces are slippery
  • Sign up to the National Bike Registry to reduce your risk of theft
  • Keep your bike secure using 2 D Locks and a cycle cage where possible – find out more about our secure cycle cages across our campus, in Harry Law, Eldon Building, Burnaby car park and Mercantile
  • Use an older bike if you're commuting around the city, as newer bikes are more likely to be stolen

Tips for safe cycling in traffic

If you're cycling on busy roads among cars and buses, keep these safe cycling tips in mind:

  • Wear a helmet
  • Try to ride in well-lit areas at night
  • Wear hi-vis clothing such as a vest – some have lights built in for night riding
  • Wear shatterproof cycling or safety glass to protect your eyes from debris, impacts and the weather
  • Change down gears before stopping
  • Use the middle of the most appropriate lane on roundabouts
  • Arrive at junctions in the middle of the lane
  • Look out for other vehicles coming from side roads
  • Wait in the traffic queue, unless it’s safe to move to the front
  • Cycle one metre from the kerb – not in the gutter
  • Keep at least a door's width away from parked cars
  • Cycle in the stream of traffic when you can match its speed
  • Don't cut through on the inside of lorries or buses – they won't be able to see you
  • Be observant of pedestrians crossing the road or cycle path

If you're a complete beginner and you need more advice to build your confidence before cycling in traffic, visit Cycling UK.

Taxi and Uber safety

If you're doing a big food shop or going on a night out with friends, you'll likely get a taxi or Uber home. When you're getting a ride home, especially at night, there are some things you should do:

  • Book your ride home in advance
  • Find a well-lit area or taxi rank while you wait
  • When your ride arrives, double-check it has the local council or business labelling on the side of the vehicle
  • Ask for the driver's name and confirm your name and destination before hopping in
  • Hop in the back of the cab, especially if you're travelling on your own
  • Pay digitally where possible to make sure you have a record of payment

Safety on the water

Whether you're travelling around your university city or going on a weekend trip, you might end up travelling on the water. London has a river bus, and in Portsmouth we have ferries linking us to Gosport, the Isle of Wight and Hayling Island.

Many of our public transport tips also apply to getting a ferry. But there are some extra things to be mindful of:

  • Let everyone off before you start getting on
  • Take care when you're crossing the gangway onto the ship
  • Use handrails if you're heading up or downstairs, especially during travel
  • Avoid leaning over the edges of the ship
  • If you're feeling unwell let a staff member know and they'll help you

Leaving your car around campus

Most campuses have direct transport links to key services so students can live and travel more sustainably.

But if you do decide to drive to uni you need to be mindful of keeping yourself and your car safe around campus. Things to remember include:

  • Car parks are safer, generally well lit and under CCTV – if you're visiting the university, find out where the local car parks are and how much they cost
  • Park under a street lamp if you're leaving your car out at night
  • Make sure any valuables you've left behind are hidden from view

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