Thames Valley BikeSafe
Welcome to Thames Valley Police BikeSafe. Thames Valley Police covers the counties of Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. This area covers the busy commuter towns of Oxford, Reading, Slough, Milton Keynes and many others. We are also responsible for large sections of the M4, M25, M40 and M1. We are proud to offer BikeSafe workshops to bridge the gap leading to advanced rider training and ultimately make you safer on the road.
Our aim is simple. To offer some solutions to the most common causes of collisions, observe your riding and give you realistic and practical feedback to enable you to move on to advanced training. This will help you to get more enjoyment from your riding in a smoother and safer manner. Workshops are held in and around Abingdon and Taplow, although exact locations will depend on what date and type of course you book.
To attend a BikeSafe workshop with Thames valley Police, you will need to hold a category A1, A2 or A licence and if you’ve only just passed your test, we suggest getting a few months experience before coming to us. Whilst we welcome all riders, it is suggested that those who have already passed an advanced test or have completed a BikeSafe workshop in the last 3-5 years do not book, as the benefit to them, of the workshop, may be limited.
Your BikeSafe workshop
Your BikeSafe workshop will consist of two elements, a classroom session and an observed ride with a police officer. Focussing on Cornering, Observation, Hazards, Overtaking, Filtering, Group Riding, The system of motorcycle control, Attitude and Junctions, the interactive classroom input will include presentations, videos and participant discussion. We place huge value on the discussion and questions, as this is often where the majority of the learning comes (and as they say, the only stupid question is the one you don’t ask).
All observed rides are with a Roads Policing Officer who are both advanced car drivers, and advanced bike riders. Your observer will brief you regarding the ride, what they expect and how you will gain the most from it. Assessments will be on a maximum ratio of two candidates to one assessor. You will not be under instruction, the observer will do exactly that, observe your riding before providing some feedback and signposting you to possible options for further training. Think of it as an MOT for your riding skills. The observed ride may be before the classroom element or after the classroom element dependant on the number of spaces allocated for the workshop.
Once you have booked your workshop, you will also gain immediate access to nine eLearning modules to complete in advance of the classroom/ input. These are available to complete as many times as you require before and after the workshop.
Also as part of the workshop, a representative from the Fire Service will give you brief overview of Biker Down. As bikers, we are likely to be first on scene when incidents happen and the Fire Service offer a free course covering first aid, managing the scene of bike crashes and safety for Powered 2 Wheeler (P2W) riders on. Further detail is available on the Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Biker Down webpage.
You will also have to opportunity to talk to representatives from one or more of the further training organisations to discuss what options are available to you. This may be before or after your observed ride depending on which workshop option you undertake.
Please note you will be, at all times, responsible for your own actions and safety on the road. Licence, insurance and MOT are required to be in place and your vehicle must be roadworthy and legal. Anyone who attends without the appropriate items in place or on machine that is not roadworthy will not be able to undertake the on road element.
Our workshop locations can be found on the map above.
On the date of your workshop a rough format will be:
08:30-09:00 – Arrival and registration at either Taplow Police Station or Abingdon Police Station.
Morning Session – Classroom session/Observed Ride.
The classroom input delivered by one of the Thames Valley Police BikeSafe Coordinators. (Sergeant Mark Scully or Sergeant Chris Howlett). Following your observed ride you will receive feedback on your riding and your observer will identify potential options for the future.
Lunch – Covid restrictions allowing, during the day we will make you a cup of tea or coffee, but you will need to provide your own lunch. At Abingdon, there is a McDonalds opposite the police station and at Taplow a nearby Tesco supermarket and Costa Coffee where you can purchase some food/drink.
Afternoon Session – Classroom Session/Observed Ride
15:30 (approx) We will finish at one of the following locations where representatives of the various post-test training organisations will be on hand to discuss future options.
– Taplow Police Station
– Abingdon Police Station
– Bahnstormer BMW Maidenhead
– North Oxford BMW.
The actual location will depend on numbers and format of the day, but will be detailed on the booking form for each workshop. Please note that unless any adverse weather if of biblical proportions, we complete observed rides in all weathers, please come dressed appropriately.
It is possible that we can set up private workshops, and have done so for various motorbike clubs, as well as organisations and companies. This can include delivering at other locations, or even completing live and interactive online classroom inputs in advance of observed rides, meaning if necessary the workshop can be split over two days/evenings. Should you be interested in a specific workshop for your club/organisation please contact us.
Abingdon Police Station
Taplow Roads Policing Base