Designed for Cycling

Cherry Allan's picture

Cycle-friendly design and planning: Overview

CTC's vision is to see people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities feeling able to cycle safely and confidently for all types of journey. Designing - or re-designing - neighbourhoods, town centres and road networks to cater properly for them is essential...
Cycle lane
Headline Messages: 
  • CTC’s vision is to see a massive step-change in cycle use, so that people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities feel able to cycle safely and confidently for all types of journey.
  • Our neighbourhoods, town centres and road networks should be fundamentally redesigned to be ‘people-friendly’, with cycling not only contributing to a reduction in car dependence, but also benefiting from it. Through-traffic should be channelled onto a limited network of main roads – which should have dedicated cycle provision on or alongside them – while traffic volumes and speeds are kept low on other streets or lanes. Dedicated cycle routes and cycle-friendly access restrictions (e.g. limiting motorised access to town-centres or rat-runs) can encourage people to choose cycling over motorised travel for day-to-day journeys.
  • The cycle network should include the whole road network, supplemented by high-quality cycle routes away from the road network, e.g. through parks and open spaces, or along canals, waterfronts and disused rail corridors. Dedicated cycle provision should be safe and feel safe, showing that society positively values those who choose to cycle, and avoiding any impression that they are a ‘nuisance’ to be ‘kept out of the way of the traffic.’
  • In general, CTC advocates:
    • 20 mph limits for most built-up streets (including villages), and the widespread adoption of 40 mph or lower limits for rural lanes;
    • Some form of dedicated space on busier urban roads, particularly where higher speed limits are retained; and
    • Parallel off-road facilities for dual carriageways and inter-urban roads.
  • However, decisions on appropriate solutions will also need to reflect local factors, such as junctions and junction layouts, and demand for parking or loading.
  • In most places, the main priority for significant capital spending in the years ahead will be to redesign larger junctions to be cycle-friendly, or to open up links for cyclists across (or avoiding) major barriers to safe and convenient cycle travel. Opportunities should also be sought to maximise the funding for cycling improvements through the planning system and road maintenance budgets.
CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 

General principles:

  • An overall aim of transport planning should be to increase cycling as part of a strategy to halt and reverse the growth of motor traffic. This could be achieved through pricing mechanisms (e.g. fuel duty, road user charging, and tax incentives for cycling), the availability or cost of parking, or by regulations and physical road closures to limit motor vehicle access whilst maintaining access for cyclists.
  • The road network and cycle facilities should be designed and maintained to a high standard, free of potholes, debris and obstructions.

Two road signs - No Entry sign with Except Cycles sign below it

Urban streets and rural lanes:

  • 20 mph limits should be the norm for most streets in built-up areas, with exceptions to be identified by local authorities in consultation with local communities.
  • Speed limits of 40 mph or lower should be the norm for rural single carriageways, with 20 mph the norm in villages.
  • On both residential streets and rural lanes, low traffic speeds should preferably be achieved through quality design, to make the street or lane feel like it is primarily for people not motor vehicles. Cruder forms of traffic calming, such as road humps and narrowings, are a less good option, as they can be unpleasant and unsafe for cyclists, and are generally unpopular.
  • On busier urban roads, some form of dedicated space for cyclists should be provided. Alternatively, this may include use of decent width bus lanes or on carriageway cycle lanes, preferably with coloured surfacing. It may also include cycle lanes created from carriageway space involving physical segregation both from motor vehicles and pedestrians, where the relevant highway authority has the will to do this to a high standard. Where there is insufficient space for such provision, the aim must be to reduce traffic volumes and/or speeds, so that cyclists can share the road safely with the other traffic using it.

Dual carriageways, inter-urban main roads and major junctions:

  • On dual carriageways and inter-urban main roads, the form of cycle provision normally preferred should be a physically segregated cycle track parallel to the road, with provision made for cyclists to pass under, over, around or through major junctions.
  • High speed or multi-lane junctions should either have signalised crossing points, ‘early advance’ cyclists’ traffic lights, and/or safe and convenient bypass routes, bridges or underpasses, so that cyclists can get round or through the junction safely and conveniently in all directions.
  • Bridges and tunnels designed to high standards should be provided at appropriate locations to enable cyclists and other non-motorised users to cross major roads where potential links on minor roads or off-road rights of way are currently severed.

Off-road cycle facilities:

  • Traffic-free routes should be provided away from roads, e.g. using parks and open spaces, canal and riversides. These should form direct and convenient connections to the wider road network and to key destinations, and should have good riding surfaces.
  • Traffic-free routes away from roads should add to, not substitute for, the creation of safe, convenient and pleasant cycling conditions on or adjacent to the road network, so that cyclists have easy access to the full range of destinations that other road users can get to.

Towpath in Guildford, beside the River Wey. Used by both pedestrians and cyclists.

Other cycling infrastructure:

  • Cycle signing should be provided to help people find suitable routes.
  • Sensibly-designed cycle parking should be provided at key destinations to meet the needs of both short-stay visitors and longer-stay users e.g. at schools, workplaces and rail stations which will generally require more secure, sheltered provision. Levels of cycle parking provision should reflect anticipated increases in demand.

Maintenance and funding sources:

  • Roads and off-road routes used by cyclists should be surfaced and maintained to a high standard. The needs of cyclists should be reflected in highway authorities’ procedures for reporting, inspecting and repairing defects, and in the management of street works, winter maintenance, debris/vegetation clearance and lighting policies.
  • The costings of off-road cycle facilities should include provision for their maintenance.
  • Opportunities should be sought to maximise the funding available for improved cycling provision from new developments and highway maintenance budgets.

Ensuring high and consistent quality:

  • Planners and engineers should be given professional training in the principles of cycle-friendly planning and design.
  • The highway network and alterations to it should be subjected to a cycle audit and review process.
     
Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
October 2012
Roger Geffen's picture

CTC declares support for quality segregation while still opposing "farcilities"

12 October 2012
CTC has published its revised policy on infrastructure setting out an ambition to see “a massive step-change in cycle use, so that people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can feel able to cycle safely and confidently for all types of journey.”
CTC supports high quality facilities - not fiddly pavement conversions

The new policy calls for neighbourhoods, town centres and road networks to be “fundamentally redesigned to be ‘people-friendly’, with cycling not only contributing to a reduction in car dependence, but also benefiting from it”.

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Chris Peck's picture

From the archive - The Times, 1st August 1934

In 1934 the Times published a statement from the Cyclists' Touring Club on road safety. Many of the issues raised still resonate - while in other areas the suggestions appear ludicrous in the modern day.
The Times carried CTC's views on road safety

Things weren't going well in the 1930s. As cars became more powerful, and the interests of the motorist began to become entwined with the establishment, legislators decided to abandon the 20 mph speed limit. 

For four years, carnage reigned - the rate of injury and death climbed, with cyclists making up almost a quarter of road deaths - an astonishing 1,324 deaths out of 5,862 in total in 1933 and 1,400 out of 6,502 by 1935.

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Chris Peck's picture

Labour promises push on cycling

2 October 2012
Maria Eagle MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, has endorsed the Times manifesto on cycling and promised to implement its demands in full. The statement follows last week's commitment at the Liberal Democrat conference calling for widespread 20 mph speed limits.
Maria Eagle endorsed the Cities fit for cycling campaign

At the Labour Party Conference in Manchester, Maria Eagle MP spoke to delegates setting out her views on high speed rail, bus reform and active travel. 

She congratulated the Times on its 'Cities fit for cycling' campaign, and demanded the Government implement its manifesto in full. 

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MattHodges's picture

Cycletopia in Lancaster?

As one of the original Cycle Demonstration Towns (CDT) Lancaster has been trying to move towards the cycling nirvana depicted in CTC’s Cycletopia. So after all the effort and increased spending what have we achieved? Matt Hodges, CTC's representative in Lancaster, gives his views.
A new ramp now connects the canal towpath to the Lune Cycle Path

Lancaster CDT includes the seaside town of Morecambe and a wide rural hinterland.  Although bypassed by the M6 it had a major congestion problem on the city centre gyratory system and on the two road bridges over the river Lune.  But it also had the opportunity of a railway path linking Morecambe to Lancaster via a cycle and pedestrian bridge built for the Millennium. There were also other railway paths.

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Cycletopia

Cycletopia includes 15 real life examples of good schemes to promote cycling
CTC's Cycletopia is made up of real life examples of what can be done to make Britain's towns and cities more cycle friendly, combined in a single image.
Victoria Hazael's picture

Cycletopia – turning cycling dreams into reality

CTC, the national cycling charity has created ‘Cycletopia’ – an imaginary town made up of 15 real life examples in the UK of the best ways to promote, protect and inspire cycling.
Cycletopia includes 15 real life examples of good schemes to promote cycling

CTC Chief Executive Gordon Seabright said: “Great Britain proved this summer we have the best cyclists in the world. Now, we need to create towns and cities that are world class for cycling. There are already great things being done right here in the UK to improve cycling; they just need to happen across all our towns and cities. Cycletopia aims to help every local authority learn from what other places are doing to increase the numbers of cyclists and reduce traffic congestion.”

Contact Information: 

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

Notes to Editors: 

An interactive map of Cycletopia can be found on CTC’s website: http://www.ctc.org.uk/cycletopia.

High resolution and detailed images of Cycletopia are also available from CTC Press Office.

Cycletopia is drawn by the cartoonist and cyclist Peter Welleman.

CTC, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling.

We work to protect and promote cycling to create a healthier, cleaner world, now and for the future. We want the UK to be a place where it’s easy and safe for people of all ages to cycle, whatever their ability, background or income. We believe that cycling is more than just transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone.

We encourage all types of cycling, on the road or off it.  We support you if you already ride, or would like to ride, to work or school, for health, touring, sport and leisure – or just because it’s fun.

We’ve been working for cycling for over a century. Nationally and locally, we use our knowledge to influence decision makers and help people discover how cycling can change lives.

• We provide expert, practical help and advice.
• We support individuals and communities.
• We protect cyclists’ interests.
• We campaign to make cycling mainstream and to remove the things that stop people cycling.
• We help people develop the confidence and skills to cycle.
• We promote the benefits of cycling to individuals, to society and to the economy.

CTC is an independent charity, and relies on 69,000 members, volunteers, grant funders and partners for support. Without them, we would not be able to do our vital work in communities inspiring hundreds of thousands of people across the UK to cycle.

 

Chris Peck's picture

New guidance on shared use routes

A new guidance note from the Department for Transport on shared use routes for pedestrians and cyclists has been published. CTC and other user groups had previously submitted comments. Although it improves the situation a little, major problems remain, particularly around ensuring route quality.
Shared use routes for cycling - new guidance from the DfT

Last year the Department for Transport asked for advice from CTC and other organisations on new guidance regarding shared use routes. An earlier draft of this document appeared in 2004, and in 2008 subsequent guidance set out the principles behind designing infrastructure for cyclists.

CTC's picture

Support CTC Portsmouth's campaign to complete a cycle route along the A3

For many years now members of CTC Portsmouth, lead by local campaigners Robert Sebley and Mike Ashton, have been campaigning for a cycle route through the A3 Butser cutting. Now is your chance to support them by signing their petition.
Brave Cyclist on A3 Trunk Dual Carriageway Butser

In the early 1990s the A3 road north from the A3(M) was replaced by a dual carriageway that, for the vast majority of cyclists, does not offer an acceptable safety level. The Highways Agency built cycle tracks alongside the A3, south from Queen Elizabeth Country Park to North Horndean and from Petersfield to Liphook. A map of the area can be found here.

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Chris Peck's picture

Minister opens new cycle path alongside the A27 in East Sussex

25 June 2012
A missing link in the cycle path network alongside the A27 has been opened by the Minister for Transport, Norman Baker MP. The route is another step in providing direct links between towns and villages in an area dominated by a major road.
Members of East Sussex CTC at the opening of the new A27 cycle path

The A27 carries 22,000 vehicles per day along the 1-mile stretch in question, and although a diversionary route through Glynde has been in place for a few years it involved climbing up the hillside and a two mile diversion.

The section of the route links the existing cycle track east from Firle with the A26 junction at Beddingham - see map of the area here.

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