Cycletopia - what can't be seen is just as important
The 15 things we chose to illustrate in a 'perfect' cycling town partly reflect the sorts of things that are easy to visualise - the layout of roads and the provision of cycle facilities, such as cycle paths and parking. However, there are many other things that can't be seen but make a huge difference to changing attitudes to cycling.
These less visible, but also important, elements include:
- strong, well enforced traffic law that keeps bad drivers off the streets;
- a civil law structure that better protects cyclists (and pedestrians);
- a more rigorous and regular driving test including elements of cycle awareness;
- taxation of private motor transport to make sustainable travel the preferred option;
- financial incentives to promote cycling, such as the Cycle to Work scheme;
- promotion and marketing schemes that emphasise the benefits of cycling;
- well maintained streets and cycle paths; and
- towns planned to minimise travel, maximise access by sustainable travel, and build in facilities, such as cycle parking, in new developments
All these elements - and many more besides - are crucial to making a cycle friendly town. The key ingredient is, of course, leadership - from national and local government, and from other organisations, like businesses, schools and community leaders.