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Victory for campaigners who objected to instructional tone

Many lorries will be removing poor signage for cyclists thanks to the work of pressure groups objecting to instructions such as ‘cyclists stay back'.

The Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS), a voluntary accreditation scheme encompassing all aspects of safety, fuel efficiency, vehicle emissions and improved operations, is planning to clamp down on these incorrect signs following widespread complaints.

One firm, a waste removal company called A Better Service, was told to remove lit-up signs saying ‘stay back’.

It was in place on about 500 HGVs, but FORS said it preferred warnings to instructions. ‘Take care’ was an approved message, according to Commercial Motor.

Although FORS will only issue a warning for an incorrect sign, A Better Service was failed on its FORS audit because a number of its vehicles displayed no cyclist warning signs at all.

Darren Bicknell, director at A Better Service, said: “We could have just gone with a sticker,” he said. “But we thought we’d go above and beyond to make the vehicles safer and make the sign stand out. But that’s backfired. It’s frustrating.”

Hydro Cleansing MD Steve Hoad, whose company developed the sign, said: “The regulation is political correctness gone crazy. When we got our FORS silver, the auditor fell in love with the sign. He said it was fantastic. Hell will freeze over before I take the signs off. They’re a safety device and do not offend anybody. It’s ridiculous.”

A Fors spokesman said: “Fors is aware that a number of other members are displaying unapproved ‘instructional’ signage and will be taking steps to advise them accordingly to make necessary modifications.”

At road.cc we developed our own response to the ‘stay back’ signs - because cyclists are awesome. All of you.

To celebrate that fact we produced lovely waterproof vinyl stickers to spread the love, inspired by the existing design. Stick one on your car or work vehicle (seek permission from the vehicle owner first... ed) and let everyone on two wheels know that you care, even when you're driving. And the world will be a happier place as a result. We promise!

Stay awesome stickers are available in A5 or A6 sizes, and bells and t-shirts are available too. You can get a big  discount if you buy in bulk and distribute them among your friends. To order one, or some, just head over to the road.cc shop. And stay awesome!

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.