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New Highway Code Rules for 2022

The Highway Code has received a refresh, with a new set of rules coming into force from 29th January 2022.  As well as some 49 existing laws having been updated, new rules will be introduced.  The changes are extensive and further information is available on the website link located at the bottom of this article.  However, the key areas are summarised below. Hierarchy of Road UsersPreviously The Highway Code stated all road users should be considerate towards each other, applying this principle to pedestrians and drivers equally.  It meant that equal responsibility was originally placed on all road users for assuring the safety of others.   The new hierarchy places responsibility on road users who could do greatest harm to others, and it is with them that the greatest obligation to protect the most vulnerable on the road now lies.  Top of the hierarchy are lorry drivers, cars, vans buses and motorcycles.  But it should be noted that cyclists, horse riders and horse-drawn carriage drivers have a greater responsibility to reduce the danger posed to pedestrians. Pedestrian Priorities at JunctionsPrior to the rule change, road users would have given way to pedestrians who have started to cross the road into which they are turning. Under the new rules priority must be given to pedestrians who are waiting to cross the road, which means that if you are about to turn into a road and a pedestrian is waiting to cross, you should give way.   New Rule for Drivers and Motorcyclists at JunctionsThe new rule states that when turning into or out of a junction, drivers should not cut across the path of any other road user, including cyclists, horse riders or horse-drawn vehicles, if doing so would cause the other road-user to slow down, stop or swerve. Safe Passing Distances An amendment to existing Rule 163 sets out safe passing distances for drivers when overtaking cyclists, motorcyclists, horse riders and those in horse-drawn carriages.   Drivers must give at least a 1.5 metre space when overtaking a cyclist at speeds of up to 30mph.  More space should be allowed when overtaking at speeds of more than 30mph.  Rule 72 establishes the right for cyclists to ride in the centre of their lane, to ensure that they remain visible. When passing a pedestrian who is walking in the road, drivers should allow at least two metres of space and maintain a low speed.   Rule 213 has also changed and now states that on narrow sections of roads, horse riders may ride in the centre of the lane and drivers should allow them to do so for their own safety, to ensure they can see and be seen.  Drivers should pass a horse at least 2 metres distance and at a slow speed. In all cases, drivers will now have to wait behind a motorcyclist, cyclist, horse rider, horse-drawn vehicle or pedestrian and not overtake if it is unsafe or not possible to meet these clearances.  Extra care should be taken in poor weather, including high winds. For a more in-depth look at the new rules, visit: 

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Free entry to RHS Garden Bridgewater for Salford residents extended to May 2023

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the UK’s gardening charity, have extended free Tuesday entry for Salford residents to RHS Garden Bridgewater for a further year to May 2023. Since opening on 18th May 2021, over 270,000 people have visited the garden, and more than 20,000 Salford residents have already visited the 154-acre garden for free on Tuesdays. Head of Site Richard Green said: “The support of Salford residents has played a big part in the success of our first six months of opening, and we’re delighted to be able to provide an additional full year of free entry as a way of saying thank you. We hope many more members of the local community will visit and experience the positive benefits of gardens and gardening. “One of the things we’re most excited about at RHS Garden Bridgewater is our spaces and activities dedicated to supporting health and wellbeing, skills development and life-long learning for the people of Salford. Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers and staff, and the support of Salford City Council, The Peel Group and our donors, we’ve already seen some really positive results from these programmes.” Between June and November, almost 3,000 young people from the region’s nurseries, schools and youth groups have visited the Peel Learning Garden for free interactive education workshops. In Community Wellbeing, free weekly wellbeing sessions for local organisations are delivering sessions to groups including dementia patients, NHS workers, carers, Age UK, women’s refugee groups and high dependency residential home residents, along with Wellbeing Walks delivered in partnership with Salford Community Leisure. Nine local groups including Salford Loaves and Fishes, Recreate-U, Social adVentures, Salford Foundation Womens Centre and Coop Academy Walkden have also received growing spaces, tools, seeds and advice in the Community Grow Garden. Already, the garden is delivering tangible benefits to the local economy, creating over 130 new jobs with almost half of those employed living with five miles of the garden. Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “We’re delighted that this pioneering scheme of free weekly access to the garden for Salford residents, agreed between the RHS and Salford City Council, has been such a success. This was the first time the RHS has given free access to the community around one of its gardens so Salford continues to make its mark by doing things differently. It’s fantastic that so many residents and visitors from outside the city have already enjoyed this spectacular attraction. Our vision is for the garden to be an international, national and community asset, creating a real public amenity and oasis for everyone, in amongst the city’s existing green assets. We hope as many local people and community groups as possible continue to benefit from it. It’s even easier for Salford residents to visit the garden now that the first phase of RHS Greenway is open. This new traffic-free walking and cycling route runs along the north of the Bridgewater Canal linking Worsley and Boothstown to RHS Garden Bridgewater, enabling cyclists and walkers to enter the garden direct from the canal towpath. The final phase of the RHS Greenway is due for completion in March 2022. This will create improved walking and cycling links to RHS Garden Bridgewater as well as other local facilities including Walkden train station, Parr Fold Park and Boothstown Marina.” Kate Holland, Head of Charity & Social Initiatives at The Peel Group said: “We’re extremely proud to be the founding partners of RHS Garden Bridgewater in addition to supporting the Peel Learning Garden and Education programme which sparks enthusiasm for gardening and the outdoors for the next generation. It’s testament to the team at RHS Garden Bridgewater that they’ve already attracted so many visitors and school groups from the region to the garden and it’s fantastic that Salford residents will continue to be able to enjoy free access to this world-class attraction right on their doorsteps.” RHS Garden Bridgewater is made possible by Salford City Council and The Peel Group. Salford City Council invested £19 million into the project which will bring substantial economic and tourism benefits to the city, its communities and the north west region. The Peel Group are custodians of the former Worsley New Hall estate where the garden has been created. Photos by Mark Waugh     

Travel Car-FREE to RHS Bridgewater

The first phase of RHS Greenway, a new traffic-free walking and cycling route is now open.

Worsley's Model Railway

The most expensive model railway in the world!

The Power of Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Marketing and advertising have come a long way in a short space of time. As a business owner, your brand reputation is no longer entirely in your hands. Like it or not, people are no longer in the habit of only taking your word for it when considering buying your product or service. 82% of people look at online reviews before making a purchase (rising to 93% in the 35 to 54 age group) and they read an average of 10 online reviews for each purchase [source:]. Statistics  for 2020 aren’t available yet, but the word is that with the surge in demand for online shopping driven by the pandemic, those numbers will climb even higher. This means that customer testimonials are a powerful marketing tool in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Real positive feedback, stories about user experience, and emotional reactions to using your products create confidence in a purchase decision. This is sometimes referred to as “social proof” and it should be a vital part of your marketing strategy. Where to Publish Customer Reviews?Once the sole province of Amazon, there are nowplenty of free platforms where you can encourage your customers to write reviews independently of your own marketing channels. By using these platforms, you can give your customers the confidence that their words won’t be edited, abridged or otherwise modified by you in any way. • Google My BusinessIf you haven’t already you should claim your free Google My Business listing. It provides a shortcut to a review page with a link you can share with customers. • TrustpilotAnyone can use Trustpilot to give feedback on any business, so if your business has been reviewed here then you can add the average star rating to your marketing channels via a link • FacebookIf you have a Facebook business page then you can add “Facebook Recommendations” to your profile. Rather than leave a star rating, your customers can simply answer “Yes” or “No” to the question “Do you recommend (business name)?” and then add tags, photos and text. • TripAdvisorIf you’re in the hospitality or travel business then (like Trustpilot) anyone can use TripAdvisor to give feedback on any business. Also you can request to be listed on the platform directly.  Getting your Customers to Leave Feedback - Some Do’s and Don’ts! DO ask them – and don’t be shy!Add a request forfeedback as part of your after sales process and letthem know how important it is and how much you value their views. DO make it easyWe’ve seen a lot of commentaryon social media from consumers being overwhelmed with feedback requests, so the less painful you can make the process the more your customers will be encouraged to respond. Provide a link to your chosen platform, or a use dedicated reply email address. DO reply to all feedback, positive and negative(All the above platforms will allow you to do this). It lets your customers know that you have seen the review and appreciate it. DON’T offer a discount or a refund for a good reviewIt’s OK to incentivise people to give feedback but if you only do it for a favourable response then it becomes unethical. DON’T suggest what they should sayAsk specificquestions by all means but don’t put pressure on them to answer only positively. Trust is a key factor in business these days, and thedisplay of an average star rating is often the first thing your potential customers will notice. So make sure you’re using a feedback process in all of your customer interactions. Written by Helen Say ( Writer and Blogger​

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 An entertaining mix of local features, a guide to What’s On, competitions & much more to local residents.

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