Safe travel

Travel safety advice for students.

Our students often travel to campus, between colleges and to other venues for events.  We have gathered some useful information to help you stay safe while travelling as a student.

Winter driving

Winter driving

Driving in winter brings additional challenges.  In icy conditions the safe distance between you and the car in front may be ten times that of good weather.

To prepare for winter:

  • Check and prepare your vehicle for winter.
  • Change your driving style during ice and snow.
  • Be prepared in case you are stuck in snow by having emergency supplies in your vehicle.
  • Take care when there is surface water on the road.
  • Avoid driving in fog, and if you cannot avoid fog, adapt your driving style.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) has prepared a detailed fact sheet on winter driving. Police Scotland also provide travel safety advice.

If you would like help to drive less, car sharing may be an option.

Safe walking

Safe walking

Many students get to and from college as pedestrians.  Walking has many health benefits, and can be very safe if you adopt some simple precautions.

Be aware that it is often difficult for other road users to see pedestrians, even on roads with street lighting. Difficultly in seeing pedestrians is not limited to the hours of darkness, but also during low lighting conditions.  It is advised that pedestrians wear light clothing and add reflective materials to clothing and bags.  The Highway Code states that pedestrians as well as cyclists should wear or carry materials to improve their visibility to drivers when lighting conditions are poor.  You should also carry a torch if walking in an area without street lighting.

The Highway Code should also be consulted before taking up travel as a pedestrian. Sections 1 to 35 have been written specifically for pedestrians. 

Charity walks

The ROSPA also has advice for those arranging charity walks which is available to download as a fact sheet.

Safer cycling

Safer cycling

Cycling is fun, keeps you fit and is environmentally friendly. However, over 3000 cyclists are killed or seriously injured every year in the UK.

By taking some precautions you can greatly increase your safety:

  • Look after your bike. Regularly check your brakes, oil moving parts, tighten nuts and make sure your lights are working. ROSPA have produced a downloadable checklist
  • Wear a cycle helmet that meets a recognised safety standard.
  • Wear bright and reflective clothing to help other road users see you
  • Always use bright lights and reflectors in dark, dull weather or poor visibility
  • Participate in a training course, see Cycling Scotland, if it has been some time since you have cycled.
  • Plan your route, making use of off – road cycling routes, less busy roads and avoiding busy junctions etc.
  • Take extra care at junctions and around large vehicles. Large vehicles often have areas around the vehicle where you will not be visible to the driver.

See ROSPA for more information on safe cycling, or visit Cycling Scotland who have safety videos to watch.

Safer train and ferry travel

Safer train and ferry travel

Many of our campuses are connected to the rail network, or are located close to busy rail lines. If you travel by train or have a railway line nearby, there are resources written to help you stay safe.

The British Transport Police (BTP) have guides to keep you and other adults safe, to keep children safe, and advice on keeping your belongings safe. You can find out about service disruptions at National Rail.

Travel by ferry

Many of our campuses are accessible by ferry. Sea travel is very safe, but there are some helpful tips to stay safe while visiting our island campuses:

  • Wear sturdy shoes (not flip flops or high heels), as using stairs on a moving ship can be tricky.
  • Hold on to hand rails when using stairs, and when moving around the ferry. Stairs on ships are steeper than usual, and are sometimes subject to movement.
  • Watch out for trip hazards and lashing points that may be located on decks.
  • Dismount bikes before boarding and walk your bike on board. Change from cycling shoes as these can be slippery on decks. 
  • Be careful around external doors. These are heavy and can close suddenly if the ship moves or in windy conditions.
  • Identify where the nearest Assembly Station is, this is where you will gather in the unlikely event of an emergency.
  • If you suffer from seasickness, try to sit at the centre of the vessel and look out of a window at the horizon.
  • If you are worried about weather, visit the Met Office website before travelling. https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/

Caledonian MacBrayne Ferries have produced some detailed safety advice for those travelling by ferry.  Caledonian MacBrayne and Northlink Ferries also provide notifications of service disruptions.