Local Transport Note 1/20 ‘Cycle Infrastructure Design’ was published last month, to supplement the Government’s new policy on active travel. The new guidance is ambitious and is seen as being able to improve air quality, combatting climate change, improving health and wellbeing.
The guidance sets out some key points which include:
· Treating cyclists as vehicles and not as pedestrians. This requires the separation of cyclists from pedestrians but excludes paths through housing estates, parks and other green spaces.
· To counter this Cyclists must be physically separated and protected from high volume motor traffic, both at junctions and on the stretches of road between them.
· All designers of cycle schemes must experience the roads as a cyclist
This can only be a positive move for encouraging people away from the car and onto the bike.
The LTN (4.4.1) says that “motor traffic is the main deterrent to cycling for many people with 62% of UK adults feeling that the roads are too unsafe for them to cycle on.” To make cyclists feel safe the guidance proposes that new cycleway provision is protected from traffic with a range of proposals including fully kerbed cycle tracks.
To really encourage the 62% who feel unsafe many miles of new protected cycle tracks are likely to be required. Whilst these can be accommodated within new developments with relatively ease the ability to accommodate new protected cycleways onto the existing constrained highway network will be a huge undertaking.
It is important that roads are adapted to encourage cycling. In a post COVID world where people may be looking to work closer to home, or limit their use of public transport, going forward active travel measures such as cycling, must form a major part of any planning solution.