Travel Safety

The University campuses at Canterbury and Medway are both considered very safe places to work, study and visit.  Our Campus Security team are monitoring CCTV, carrying out patrols 24/7 a day but you need to consider your safety off campus as well when you are travelling around. The information below is a guide and provides some tips on how you can be prepared to help improve your own personal and road safety. 

Travel during Covid

Stay up to date with travel advice during covid. See our Covid 19 travel advice pages for some useful links and information

Personal safety

There are plenty of official websites that give advice about personal safety while you are travelling, including the charity Suzy Lamplugh Trust and Kent police 

  • Plan where you are going, how you’re travelling and how you are going to get back, before leaving home.
  • Tell someone in your household or a friend, where you are going and when you'll be back so they know when to expect you; saves them keep calling you to see if you are ok.
  • At night keep to well-lit streets (there are some useful pdfs below showing lit routes), and where possible walk with friends.
  • Use the bus or share a taxi with friends, make sure you sign up to our Canterbury safe taxi scheme.
  • Travel in a group with your friends where possible to do so.
  • Campus Security provide an app called Safezone to help with security or emergencies and they also provide a 'Walking Taxi' service where they can walk with you on campus if you feel unsafe.
  • Wear bright clothing if you are walking or cycling at dusk and night-time, or even better reflective clothing if you can. Don’t forget to take a torch with you.
  • Don’t listen to your music or audio’ or if you do only use one earpiece and keep the volume down so you can hear approaching traffic and people around you. 

Travel at night and during adverse weather

BE BRIGHT BE SEEN

Travel during times of winter months is far different than the rest of the year and you need to be prepared for dark nights and changes in the weather (including ice and snow). The weather can change after you have left home, ensure you check the weather forecast but don’t rely on that alone. 

  • Delay your journey, if possible, to allow temperatures to rise and ice or snow to melt 
  • Avoid foot and cycleways in the shade. It takes longer for ice or snow to melt in the shade  
  • Always wear appropriate footwear and warm, reflective/bright clothing 
  • Ensure that you have a torch or lights so motorists and others can see you. 

Visit our Adverse Weather pages for further information on how the university manages its campuses during adverse weather or some general tips on how to plan for travel during winter weather.

Adverse Weather on Campus

Read our top tips for being prepared and planning your journey during adverse weather.

Safety when using public transport

Follow our personal safety advice and in addition to this ensure you have prepared for delays or diversions. Plan your journey before leaving home, including your return journey. Check if there are any expected delays and know an alternative route just in case there are any unexpected ones. You can find some useful links on our Plan Your Journey page and ensure you are following our Social Media links that may help you with knowing what is happening on campus. 

If travelling during winter months please familiarise yourself with all the information we have provided about travel during adverse weather.

If you are unfortunate to receive poor customer service or an incident does occur then take note of the location, time, the name or number of the bus or train service and report it to the provider. Do let the Transport Team know if it is relevant to travel to and from the university or contact the student wellbeing team if you need any support.  In the case of an emergency call 999 immediately and follow the instructions given to you by the emergency services.  If the emergency occurs on campus then call 01227 82 3333 which will take you through the Campus Security emergency line.  They will assist you by attending the site on campus immediately and call the emergency services for you. 

Safety when using taxis

Where possible always use recommended taxi firms and never use unlicensed taxi's or offered rides from unknown individuals.  Even if a taxi or mini cab is sourced from a trusted or recommended company, including firms such as Uber, you are getting into a stranger’s car.  You must take sensible precautions including those issued by the service provider. 

  • Follow our personal safety advice 
  • Use the taxi company’s formal methods for booking the service. 
  • Try not to travel alone.  Always share a ride with a friend or colleague where possible. 
  • Know precisely where you want to go and the route that should be taken. 
  • Check that the vehicle and driver are the ones you ordered.  Check the firm, the driver's licence, name, appearance and ID all match. 
  • Do not get in the front seat, always ride in the back. 
  • Make sure that the driver knows you are in touch with a friend or colleague, even if you make a fictitious call.  Say where you are, who your driver is and when you are expected to arrive. 
  • Do not share any personal contact information with the driver.  This includes phone numbers, other details about your trip plans or accommodation. 
  • If there is a dispute, be polite but firm.  
  • If you are concerned about the driver’s behaviour ask to stop and be let out as soon as it is safe to do so.  If they refuse do not remain silent.  Contact the emergency services immediately, activate any personal security help devices or apps and contact a friend or colleague.  If you are sat in the rear of the vehicle it makes it difficult for the driver to prevent you doing this. 

Don’t forget to sign up to the Canterbury Student safe taxi scheme  

Keep your bicycle in excellent condition

Before you go out on your bike, check your bike is fit for purpose. Always take the time to check your breaks and lights are working properly and that the reflectors are clean. Don't forget to check your tyre pressures and tread. 

  • Bicycle Repair Guide is a great free guide on how to repair and look after your bike with video tutorials. 
  • Cycle safely and wear a helmet, reflective clothing and use your lights. Make sure everything is in good working order. 
  • Be aware of your environment around you. Look out for pedestrians and give way, make sure you slow down when approaching pedestrians. Steer a wide birth and ring your bell to warn of your presence. Remember that some people are hard of hearing or visually impaired. 
  • Cyclists should use cycle paths or the road at all times. Pavements are for pedestrians and it is against the law to cycle on pavements. Laws HA 1835 sect 72 & R(S) A 1984, sect 129. 

Driving and motorcycle safety

The University of Kent is supporting Kent County Council, Kent Police, Kent Fire and Rescue and Canterbury City council in their Share the Road Campaign

Kent County Council and Medway Council also provide useful advice on road safety.  

The Government Think Road Safety campaign provides some great advice on safety checks for your vehicle and some helpful tips and advice to increase your safety and other on the road. 

If travelling during winter months please familiarise yourself with all the information we have provided about travel during adverse weather.

BikeSafe is an initiative run by police forces around the United Kingdom. They work with the biking world to provide detailed briefings on hazard awareness and to share their knowledge and safety advice by holding regular workshop events all over the world. Their aim is to ultimately reduce the number of motorcycle casualties caused by inexperienced bikers and help you to become a safer, more competent rider. 

Safety when travelling for studies or business

There are university policies and procedures you must follow for your Health and Safety, including those that relate to travel and driving for your studies or business. To check if you have followed all relevant procedures please do check with your School administrator or line manager and consider all your travel requirements and keeping you safe, including the information above. Here are some useful links: 

Travelling, working and studying overseas – provided by the Safety Health & Environment team for all students and staff travelling overseas 

Travel Health information – provided by Occupational Health  

Driving for work or study – this link provides information about driving for business and explains the checks that are required to use either your own vehicle or the requirement to be an authorised driver to drive university fleet vehicles.  

Electric scooter safety

It is only legal to use Bird e-scooters (insured) in Canterbury. The University of Kent does not give permission to use Private e-scooters on our land. 

You must have the category Q entitlement on your driving licence to use an e-scooter. A full or provisional UK licence for categories AM, A or B includes entitlement for category Q. If you have one of these licences, you can use an e-scooter.

The Transport Team and Government guidance recommend that you wear a cycle helmet when using an e-scooter. Make sure that your cycle helmet conforms to current regulations, is the correct size and is securely fastened.

Wear light-coloured or fluorescent clothing so that other road users can see you in daylight, poor light and in the dark.

E-scooters should be used by one person at a time.

You must not use a mobile phone when using an e-scooter.

Always ensure bags or other small items you are carrying will not cause a danger to you or others around you – for example, never hang them from the handlebars.

You should not ride an e-scooter while drunk or otherwise intoxicated – you may be prosecuted under drink or drug driving laws as careless and dangerous driving offences also apply to users of e-scooters.

You must not tow anything using an e-scooter.

The e-scooters should only be used within the local area hosting the trial

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