Designed for Cycling

Roger Geffen's picture

Political parties quizzed on their cycling commitments

The Big Cycling Debate yesterday [2 March] proved a useful opportunity to press the three main parties on what they would do to Get Britain Cycling - and crucially, how much they are prepared to spend on it.
John Humphrys chairing The Big Cycling Debate

The debate was organised by CTC on behalf of the UK Cycling Alliance with support from News UK, as part of the Times newspaper's Cities Fit for Cycling Campaign. It took place on the impressive 17th floor of News UK's new London Bridge office. It was chaired by John Humphrys, presenter of BBC's Today Programme and Mastermind, who opened the event by saying that the advantage of Mastermind was that at least the interviewees actually wanted to answer the questions!

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Cherry Allan's picture

Vegetation and hedge trimmings

Cyclists have problems with overhanging vegetation or hedge trimmings left on the routes they use. Debris can cause punctures or even serious injury if it gets caught in wheels ...
Mending a puncture
Headline Messages: 
  • Cyclists encounter problems if vegetation along the routes they use is not well trimmed. Overgrown branches can obscure visibility or get in the way, for instance.
  • Cyclists also suffer when debris is left strewn about following careless or incompetent hedge trimming practices. 
  • Debris has the potential to cause punctures or – worse – it may get caught in wheels sometimes with serious, even fatal, consequences.
Key facts: 
  • It is illegal to obstruct the public highway without legal authority/excuse, or leave debris on it.
  • Trimming back vegetation is usually the duty of the landowner or occupier, although sometimes the local highways authority is responsible for it.
  • As a work activity, hedge trimming is subject to the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
  • A highway authority has a legal duty to assert and protect the public’s right to use and enjoy any highway for which it is responsible; and it must ensure that it is safe for users. As such, authorities have powers to oblige landowners/occupiers to remove obstructions/debris etc.
CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 
  • Those responsible for trimming vegetation should do so regularly and in accordance with best practice
  • Local authorities and the police should actively pursue and, as necessary, prosecute offenders
  • Overhanging vegetation and debris along routes used by cyclists, both on and off-road, should be regularly and attentively cleared.
Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
March 2015
Victoria Hazael's picture

New Android app for Fill That Hole

The new Fill That Hole Android app is out of the beta testing phase; it will make reporting potholes quicker and easier - and it should mean our roads will get fixed faster.
Fill That Hole App

Following the success of CTC’s pothole reporting website Fill That Hole and the Fill That Hole iPhone app and with thanks to funding from the Department of Transport, CTC are now in the final stages of testing the new Fill That Hole Android app.

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Cherry Allan's picture

Contra-flow cycling (2-way cycling in 1-way streets)

Allowing cyclists to ride two-way in one-way streets makes cycling more convenient and attractive...
Contra-flow street
Headline Messages: 
  • Allowing cyclists to ride two-way in one-way streets makes cycling in town and cities more convenient by opening up the street network and providing short-cuts. It can also help make cycling safer by offering alternatives to busy roads, and may help stop people riding on the pavement.
  • Contra-flow works perfectly safely in many other European countries, where it is already widespread.
  • As it gives cycling an advantage over driving, contra-flow helps encourage a shift from cars to cycles for short local journeys.
Key facts: 

Evidence from Belgium suggests that, compared to the road network, the risk of injury is lower in a one-way street with contra-flow cycling or at crossroads including such a street.

CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 
  • One-way systems put cyclists at a disadvantage, making their journeys longer and more stressful. Restoring two-way cycling on one-way streets can significantly improve the safety, convenience and attractiveness of cycling.
  • Each local authority should review all its one-way streets, with the aim of progressively converting them either to two-way use (particularly for one-way systems on more major roads), or permitting contra-flow cycling (e.g. on narrower streets), unless it can be demonstrated that there are overriding hazards affecting cyclists.
  • Contra-flow cycling should be facilitated through appropriate engineering treatments, depending on the traffic volumes, speeds and road widths involved.
  • In many cases, e.g. on quieter roads, unsegregated two-way cycling on an unmarked road is an appropriate solution. More heavily trafficked one-way roads should be provided with contra-flow lanes. 
Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
November 2014
Cherry Allan's picture

Advanced Stop Lines (ASLs)

Advanced stop lines are an excellent way of giving cyclists visible priority at junctions, where around 75% of cyclists' collisions occur. Good design is crucial, of course.
ASLs help cyclists at junctions
Headline Messages: 
  • Advanced Stop Lines (ASLs, or ‘cycle boxes’) are some of the cheapest, most cost-effective and popular ways to give cyclists visible priority at junctions. They help cyclists control their own safety as they prepare to manoeuvre through the junction, giving them the opportunity to position themselves where they can be clearly seen by drivers behind.
Key facts: 
  • Around 75% of road crashes involving cyclists happen at or near junctions.
CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 
  • There should be a presumption in favour of providing Advanced Stop Lines (ASLs) on all arms of all signalised junctions.
  • Highway authorities should progressively introduce ASLs at all signalised junctions, making site-specific alterations to the junction layout as required. Exceptions may be made on high speed roads (40mph or above) where there are existing off-carriageway facilities that meet cyclists’ needs, or where a decision is taken to provide these.
  • The Government should pursue moves to clarify and amend the legislation covering cyclists’ access to and use of ASLs; and make civil enforcement of ASLs possible.
  • Each location needs to be carefully assessed to determine the most appropriate site-specific layout, having regard for the line of approach taken by cyclists and their turning movements. The safety benefits of different ASL layouts should be kept under review.
  • ASLs should be provided with at least one feeder lane on any junction arm where the traffic volumes and speeds merit the provision of a cycle lane (or cycle use of a bus lane), in accordance with CTC’s campaigns briefing on on-road cycling (forthcoming).
  • On any junction arm with more than one entry lane, consideration should be given to providing a feeder lane away from the kerb (i.e. either between or to the right of the general traffic lanes). This may be either in addition to or instead of a feeder lane to the left of the general traffic lanes. The safety benefits of different ASL layouts should be kept under review.
  • Feeder lanes should be at least 1.5m wide, preferably 2m, especially where cycle flows are high. General traffic lanes on junction approaches can be reduced to 2.5m to accommodate this, and 2.25m is acceptable on quieter streets with little or no bus or lorry traffic.
  • CTC recommends the progressive introduction of coloured surfacing for ASLs and their feeder lanes. Priority should be given to locations with multiple general traffic lanes and/or complex conflicting movements between cyclists and motorised traffic.
Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
November 2014
SamJones's picture

Funding for road maintenance welcome, do the same for cycling says CTC

Today (Tuesday 23 December 2014) CTC, the national cycling charity, welcomed the Department for Transport (DfT) confirmation of its earlier announcement to provide dedicated funding to improve the conditions of England’s roads.
Cyclist using Fill That Hole app

Today (Tuesday 23 December 2014) CTC, the national cycling charity, welcomed the Department for Transport (DfT) confirmation of its earlier announcement to provide dedicated funding to improve the conditions of England’s roads, but also expressed disappointment at a missed opportunity to incentivise councils to cycle-proof their planned road maintenance works.

Contact Information: 

CTC Press Office
Email: publicity@ctc.org.uk
Telephone: 0844-736-8453

Notes to Editors: 
  1. To learn more about the Fill that Hole application visit: www.fillthathole.org.uk
  2. For further information on CTC, the UK’s largest cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone.
  3. CTC, in coalition with the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Sustrans, Living Streets, British Cycling and the Richmond Group is currently calling for an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill which will ensure that there is a long term investment strategy for cycling and walking. For further information see: http://engagement.ctc.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1689&ea.campaign.id=34053
RhiaWeston's picture

Summons for cyclist fined for pavement cycling

A cyclist whose legal challenge is being supported by the Cyclists' Defence Fund has received a court summons for failing to pay a fine for pavement cycling.
The location where the fine was issued

Kristian Gregory was fined in August on New Kent Road in London by a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) taking part in Operation Safeway, a high-profile Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) initiative aimed at improving both driver and cyclist safety.

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Portsmouth - A City to Share

In response to a challenge from the Leader of Portsmouth City Council Cllr Donna Jones, Portsmouth Cycle Forum has just launched 'A City to Share', its strategy to put safe cycling at the heart of Portsmouth’s transport policy.
CTC cycling Case Study

The strategy was launched to an enthusiastic response from Cllr Donna Jones and other city leaders on Monday 3 November. The busy launch event was attended by representatives from local schools and businesses as well as many councillors and parliamentary candidates.

The strategy document sets out a vision for the city where there is space for cyclists, drivers and pedestrians to co-operate and treat one another with courtesy and respect.

Roger Geffen's picture

Backing for Boris's 'Crossrail for Bikes'

Boris Johnson's plans for two iconic cycle routes through Central London may not be perfect, but their sheer boldness deserves our overall support.
Parliament Square: TfL image of planned cycle route

Transport for London has now unveiled detailed proposals for two proposed cycle routes across London.  One runs east-west from Tower Gateway to Paddington and on to Acton via the A40 flyover.  The other runs north-south from Elephant & Castle to Kings Cross.

Chris Peck's picture

Why our roads are in such a bad state

Just 0.9% of the minor road network is resurfaced or strengthened each year, and a further 3.1% is surface dressing, down from double that figure 20 years ago. The failure to maintain the roads has led to the growth in potholes reported by local authorities over recent years.
Potholes due to lack of maintenance

Potholes are dangerous, even lethal, for people on bikes.

But fixing potholes is a huge waste of resources: each pothole costs over £50 to mend, and the number of potholes has massively increased in recent years. 

Meanwhile, that pothole is often a symptom of an underlying structural weakness in the road, or a failure to keep water out of the surface.

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