All Local Authority Councillors have formal duties of care that their authorities are acting lawfully. The following are some suggested matters they should be considering.
Are there detailed forensic digital audits and mapping available? Archaeological and related techniques are readily available to do this,
Are they open source?
Has the authority tested all its audit processes?
Has the authority written a clear statement of the minimum standards it wishes to achieve?.
Has the authority written a clear statement of where a council is against these standards and its proposals and time line to get there?
What synergies with rail are planned?
1.5 Core design principles
1.5.1 There are five core design principles which represent the essential requirements to achieve more people travelling by cycle or on foot, based on best practice both internationally and across the UK.
1.5.2 Networks and routes should be Coherent; Direct; Safe; Comfortable and Attractive.
1.5.3 Inclusive design and accessibility should run through all five of these core design principles. Designers should always aim to provide infrastructure that meets these principles and therefore caters for the broadest range of people.
1.5.4 Infrastructure must be accessible to all and the needs of vulnerable pedestrians and local people must be considered early in the process to ensure schemes are supported locally in the long term. The Equality Act 2010 requires public sector authorities to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty in carrying out their functions. This includes making reasonable adjustments to the existing built environment to ensure the design of infrastructure is accessible to all.
Cycle infrastructure should be accessible to everyone from 8 to 80 and beyond: it should be planned and designed for everyone.
The opportunity to cycle in our towns and cities should be universal.
The ability to deliver a right to cycle requires infrastructure and routes which are accessible to all regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or disability and does not create hazards for vulnerable pedestrians. Improvements to highways should always seek to enhance accessibility for all.
Cycle infrastructure should be designed for significant numbers of cyclists, and for non-standard cycles. Our aim is that thousands of cyclists a day will use many of these schemes.
We also want to see increasing numbers of cargo bikes to replace some van journeys. Cycle routes must be accessible to recumbents, trikes, handcycles, and other cycles used by disabled cyclists.
Many current tracks and lanes are too narrow or constrained to meet these objectives. To allow faster cyclists to overtake, and make room for non-standard bikes, cycle tracks should ideally be 2 metres wide in each direction, or 3 to 4m (depending on cycle flows) for bidirectional tracks though there may have to be exceptions.
6) Consideration of the opportunities to improve provision for cycling will be an expectation of any future local highway schemes funded by Government.
To receive Government funding for local highways investment where the main element is not cycling or walking, there will be a presumption that schemes must deliver or improve cycling infrastructure to the standards in this Local Transport Note, unless it can be shown that there is little or no need for cycling in the particular highway scheme. Any new cycling infrastructure must be in line with this national guidance. The approach of continuous improvement is recognised in both the National Planning Policy Framework and Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan Guidance. Cycle infrastructure requirements should be embedded in local authority planning, design and highways adoption policies and processes.
7) Largely cosmetic interventions which bring few or no benefits for cycling or walking will not be funded from any cycling or walking budget.
Too many schemes badged as being for cycling or walking do little more than prettify the status quo, such as installing nicer-looking pavements and road surfaces but doing little or nothing to restrict through traffic or provide safe space for cycling. Schemes whose main purpose and/or effect is aesthetic improvement of the public realm must be funded from other budgets.
Cycle infrastructure must join together, or join other facilities together by taking a holistic, connected network approach which recognises the importance of nodes, links and areas that are good for cycling.
Routes should be planned holistically as part of a network. Isolated stretches of provision, even if it is good are of little value. Developing a connected network is more than lines on a map. It is about taking local people on a journey with you in order to understand who currently cycles, where they go and why they go there and, more importantly, who does not currently cycle and why.
As important as building a route itself is maintaining it properly afterwards.
Road markings get dug up by utility contractors, ignored in repaints or just worn away; tarmac is allowed to crack and part; tracks and lanes are seldom or never swept, leaving them scattered with debris and broken glass. In winter, cycle lanes are usually the last place to be cleared of snow and ice, if they are cleared at all. Routes must be properly maintained and swept frequently for debris and broken glass. Route proposals should always include a clear programme of maintenance.
Side road entry treatments such as raised tables across the mouth of side roads can reduce the speed of vehicles turning in and out of the junction improving safety for cyclists and can help pedestrians. Materials such as loose gravel should also be avoided.
15) Trials can help achieve change and ensure a permanent scheme is right first time. This will avoid spending time, money and effort modifying a scheme that does not perform
If there is dispute about the impact of a road change, we recommend trialling it with temporary materials. If it works, it can be made permanent through appropriate materials. If it does not, it can be easily and quickly removed or changed.
However, it is important that the scheme is designed correctly at the beginning, to maximise the chances of it working.
16) Access control measures, such as chicane barriers and dismount signs, should not be used.
They reduce the usability of a route for everyone, and may exclude people riding nonstandard cycles and cargo bikes. They reduce the capacity of a route as well as the directness and comfort. Schemes should not be designed in such a way that access controls, obstructions and barriers are even necessary; pedestrians and cyclists should be kept separate with clear, delineated routes as outlined in the principles above.
Schemes must be easy and comfortable to ride.
Cycling is a physical effort. Schemes should not impose constant stopping and starting or unnecessary level changes. Traffic calming measures such as road humps are mainly installed to reduce traffic speeds, but if through traffic is no longer present on the street or in the segregated lane,
they are not necessary. If traffic calming measures are needed, they should always be designed so that they are not inaccessible to people on tandems and tricycles.
14) Surfaces must be hard, smooth, level, durable, permeable and safe in all weathers.
Surface materials should be easy to maintain, for example asphalt and other materials highlighted in Chapter 15. Materials such as brick and stone should generally be avoided on cycle routes. They are expensive, yet often quickly become dirty, ugly, broken and rough to ride on under the impacts of vehicles and can be slippery in wet weather. Exceptions will be allowed for streets of special
Bringing it all together – Making the case for change to get schemes delivered
A clear stakeholder engagement plan to articulate the case for change can take time but will increase political and public acceptance of a scheme at an early stage.
Before any specific proposal is put forward, the ground must be carefully prepared, with the public persuaded of the need for change and an attractive alternative to the status quo laid out that people can get interested in – this should relate proposals to things that affect people’s lives directly, not just technical proposals and show why there’s a problem to fix. Articulate a clear vision of what you want a place to look like.
Work out every technical aspect of a proposal thoroughly and in detail before you present it, to anticipate and pre-empt likely objections, and get it as right as possible at the beginning. When communicating the proposals be confident about it and absolutely be clear about your intentions, the benefits and disadvantages. Proposals must be clear and unambiguous, as detailed as possible, including good maps and drawings, and frank about the disadvantages, to build trust and discourage misrepresentation.
2.4 Inclusive cycling
2.4.1 Cycling should be accessible to people of all ages and abilities. The Equality Act 2010 places a duty on public sector authorities to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty in carrying out their functions. This includes making reasonable adjustments to the existing built environment to ensure the design of new infrastructure is accessible to all.
2.4.2 For many people, a cycle is a mobility aid that helps them get around or carry items or passengers.
This does not have to be a specially-adapted cycle –
it may simply be a conventional cycle that enables them to travel when they cannot drive, or walk very far, due to a health condition or disability. For other people, an adapted cycle such as a handcycle or a tricycle may be a mode of independent transport that frees them from reliance on assistance from others. A visually impaired person may be traveling on a tandem; parents may be carrying young children in a trailer or specially designed cargo bike.
2.4.3 Data collected by Transport for London8 found that the proportion of disabled Londoners who sometimes use a cycle to get around (15%) is only slightly less than for non-disabled Londoners (18%), demonstrating that cycling is an important mode of transport for everyone. The role of cycling as an aid to mobility is often overlooked. It can help many people to travel independently, but only if the infrastructure is accessible to a range of cycles used by people with children and disabled people. It is therefore very important to ensure that new cycle infrastructure is designed for use by everyone.
4.2 Core design. principles
4.2.1 There are five principles which represent the core requirements for people wishing to travel by cycle or on foot. Accessibility for all is a requirement that should always be considered in relation to each of the principles. Designers should always aim to provide infrastructure that meets these principles and therefore caters for the broadest range of people. While cyclists and pedestrians share the same underlying design principles, the geometric design requirements for pedestrians and cyclists are not the same, owing to the differential in speed and mass. Geometric requirements are explored in Chapter 5.
4.2.2 When people are travelling by cycle, they need networks and routes that are:
4.2.3 These design principles are further described below.
4.2.4 Cycle networks should be planned and designed to allow people to reach their day to day destinations easily, along routes that connect, are simple to navigate and are of a consistently high quality. Abrupt reductions in the quality of provision for cyclists – such as a busy high-speed roundabout without
facilities – will mean that an otherwise serviceable route becomes unusable by most potential users. Sections that do not meet accessibility standards, such as steps on a cycle route, will render a whole journey inaccessible for some people.
4.2.5 Main roads are often the only direct, coherent route available to move between places, but these are usually the roads where people most fear the danger from motor vehicles. Consequently, the provision of adequately safe, attractive and comfortable facilities along these roads is crucial to creating a coherent cycling network.
4.2.6 A cycle route may vary in nature along its length, for example a signed route along a quiet street may continue as a motor traffic free route through a green space, but the connection between successive sections should be obvious. Similarly, a route through a complex junction should be clear to all road users. Direction signs, road markings and coloured surfacing in combination with physical design features can all help to provide coherence.
4.2.7 Directness is measured in both distance
and time, and so routes should provide the shortest and fastest way of travelling from place to place.
This includes providing facilities at junctions that minimise delay and the need to stop. Minimising the effort required to cycle, by enabling cyclists to maintain momentum, is an important aspect of directness.
An indirect designated route involving extra distance or more stopping and starting will result in some cyclists choosing the most direct, faster option, even if it is less safe.
4.2.8 To make cycling an attractive alternative to driving short distances, cycle routes should be at least as direct – and preferably more direct – than those available for private motor vehicles. Permitting cyclists to make movements prohibited to motor traffic,
allowing contraflow cycling, and creating links between cul-de-sacs to enable cyclists to take the shortest route, should be the default approach in traffic management
4.2.9 Not only must cycle infrastructure be safe, it should also be perceived to be safe so that more people feel able to cycle.
4.2.10 Safety and environmental improvements for all road users can be achieved by reducing motor traffic volumes and speeds, for example by introducing filtered permeability or traffic calming. Reducing motor traffic may also release space to enable the construction of separate facilities for cyclists on links and at junctions.
4.2.11 On busy strategic roads where a significant reduction in traffic speeds and volumes is not appropriate, safety will need to be achieved by providing dedicated and protected space for cycling, which may involve reallocating existing space within the highway
4.2.12 Cycle routes remote from roads may have other risks relating to crime and personal security. The risk of crime can be reduced through the removal of hiding places along a route, by providing frequent access points, by providing lighting, and by passive surveillance from overlooking buildings and other users.
4.2.13 Maintenance to address surface defects, overgrown vegetation, fallen leaves, snow and ice will all help to reduce the likelihood of falls and crashes for all people and preserve available width and sight lines for cyclists. Cycle parking should be sited where people using the facilities can feel safe from traffic and crime, and away from pedestrian paths.
4.2.14 Comfortable conditions for cycling require routes with good quality, well-maintained smooth surfaces, adequate width for the volume of users, minimal stopping and starting, avoiding steep gradients, excessive or uneven crossfall and adverse camber.
The need to interact with high speed or high-volume motor traffic also decreases user comfort by increasing the level of stress and the mental effort required to cycle.
4.2.15 Adequate width is important for comfort. Cycling is a sociable activity and many people will want to cycle side by side, and to overtake another cyclist safely. It is important that cyclists can choose their own speed so that they can make comfortable progress commensurate with the amount of effort they wish
to put in.
4.2.16 Designers should consider comfort for all users including children, families, older and disabled people using three or four-wheeled cycles. Families are more likely to use off-carriageway facilities. Young children may need additional space to wobble or for an accompanying parent to ride alongside.
4.2.17 Cycling and walking provide a more sensory experience than driving. People are more directly exposed to the environment they are moving through and value attractive routes through parks, waterfront locations, and well-designed streets and squares. Cycling is a pleasurable activity, in part because it involves such close contact with the surroundings,
but this also intensifies concerns about personal security and traffic danger. The attractiveness of the route will therefore affect whether users choose cycling as a means of transport.
4.2.18 The environment should be attractive, stimulating and free from litter or broken glass.
The ability for people to window shop, walk or cycle two abreast, converse or stop to rest or look at a view, makes for a more pleasant experience.
4.2.19 Cycle infrastructure should help to deliver public spaces that are well designed and finished in attractive materials and be places that people want to spend time using. The surfaces, landscaping and street furniture should be well maintained and in keeping with the surrounding area. Planting in parks and rural areas should consider the aesthetic and sensory qualities that create attractive vistas and fragrances as well as practical considerations about maintenance.
(or providing a parallel route). Reallocation will typically involve moving kerb lines and street furniture, and providing well-designed crossings and facilities at junctions where most casualties occur. The potential for conflict between pedestrians and cyclists should be minimised by keeping them separate except in low speed, low traffic environments (see Figure 4.2). Where pedestrians and cyclists share surfaces, sufficient width should be provided to enable users
to feel safe by allowing them to see other users and to avoid each other when passing.
Cycle Infrastructure Design
Equality and access assessments
4.5.11 Local authorities are bound by the Equality Act 2010 in discharging their functions, which includes managing their road networks. Designers should provide infrastructure that is accessible to all, and the dimensions and other features set out in this guidance should help ensure that their designs comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty. An Access Audit should be undertaken of all proposals to ensure that a scheme meets the needs of those with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010, particularly people with a disability. The Access Audit (also formerly known as a DDA audit, Disability Discrimination Act Audit or Disabled Access Audit) is an assessment of a building, a street environment or a service against best-practice standards to benchmark its accessibility for disabled people. It may form part of an overall Equality Impact Assessment.