Designed for Cycling

Cherry Allan's picture

Junctions and crossings

As 75% of cyclists' collisions happen at or near junctions, it's essential to do everything possible to make them safe for cycling.
Headline Messages: 

Three-quarters of cyclists' collisions happen at or near junctions, so providing cycle lanes or paths that stop short of one (or at it), doesn't help tackle one of the most serious hazards that cyclists face on the road network.

Apart from training people how to negotiate junctions safely and confidently, there are several things that road engineers can do to make these locations more cycle-friendly in the first place.

Signalled junctions, for instance, are usually better than roundabouts, while well planned, designed and implemented Advanced Stop Lines (ASLs), special cycle phases and detectors can be particularly helpful.

If there’s no avoiding a roundabout, it can be improved for cyclists by narrowing the circulatory carriageway, minimising the number of entry and exit lanes, and slowing drivers down by making the entry and exit angles tighter.

Shared-use pedestrian and cycle crossings

Cyclists tend to prefer direct routes – and safe ones, of course. Consequently, they often want to cross a road, but not necessarily at a road traffic junction (although once they’ve used the crossing, they may need to rejoin the carriageway).

Toucans (light controlled crossings shared with pedestrians) usually provide a very workable arrangement; and for very busy roads, high quality subways or bridges are not only often welcome to cyclists, but can also help connect communities severed by an otherwise impassable road. 

Cycle path crossings of side roads

Cycle paths alongside the carriageway are often intersected by side roads or driveways. Cyclists are rarely given priority over them and these locations can put them at risk. There are engineering measures that can help make drivers more aware of cyclists at these points (e.g.raised tables over the crossing).

 

CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 

We are currently revising and updating our views on infrastructure and these will be published in due course. In the meantime, these are extracts from CTC's current Policy Handbook.

  • Features such as advanced stop lines (ASLs), priority approaches and special cycle phases should be incorporated at junctions.
  • Signalled junctions are often preferable to roundabouts. However mini-roundabouts may be used as a speed control measure in traffic calming schemes and this may benefit cyclists.
  • Increasing the entry deflection, narrowing the circulatory carriageway and providing circulatory lane markings can improve safety on roundabouts.
  • Loop-detectors controlling traffic signals should be tuned to detect cyclists.
  • All new schemes should be audited for cycle friendliness and as much of the existing transport network should be reviewed likewise.
  • Subways and overbridges should be of high quality with good sightlines, sensible gradients, lighting and sufficient width. Converted footways are generally disliked by pedestrians and cyclists and should be avoided by transport planners. Low cost schemes to convert existing subways into shared use facilities are rarely satisfactory. Overbridges should be cycle friendly and not have steps.
  • Toucan crossings are shared light controlled crossings. They allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross roads in safety, and are a good example of workable and cost effective facilities.
Publication Date: 
April 2012
Cherry Allan's picture

Cycle Infrastructure Design (DfT 2008)

The Department for Transport (DfT) published 'Cycle Infrastructure Design' (CID) in 2008 to guide professionals on providing for cyclists on the highway network. The following is CTC's take on it, highlighting the most enlightened aspects of the guidance, but also areas where it could do better.
Cycle Infrastructure Design

We hope the following helps steer you through Cycle Infrastructure Design (CID), highlighting its most useful and welcome guidance, but also alerting you to some areas that are less than perfect. This briefing is by no means exhaustive, however - it is not intended to be a substitute for reading the guidance itself!

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York cycle campaigners attempt to save key cycle route

CTC cycle campaigners from York do battle to retain the road layout at Water End junction, which includes an advisory cycle lane. Some local residents have claimed since it was introduce it has caused increased traffic congestion. Local campaigners are fighting for it to stay on safety grounds.
Water End Junction

The City of York built the suburban orbital cycle route as part of its three year Whitehall-funded Cycling Demonstration City programme.

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Cherry Allan's picture

The 'Hierarchy of Provision'

What is the best way to provide for cyclists on the highway network? Sharing space with motor traffic? Or segregated as much as possible from it? And what about all the options between these extremes?
Cycle road marking

Many people who don’t cycle say they’re held back by their fear of traffic, and reckon they’d cycle if there were more cycle paths away from the roads.  Local demands for 'traffic-free' routes can be quite persuasive for councils, but when they install segregated tracks they often meet with opposition from cyclists who would prefer to cycle on the road rather than lose priority at every side-road on a poorly designed segregated cycle track - particularly if they are fast, confident commuters.

Chris Peck's picture

20mph pilot in Bristol finds slower speeds and enthusiastic residents

15 March 2012
A trial of two 20mph speed limit areas in Bristol has resulted in lower speeds, more reported walking and cycling and residents even more enthusiastic about lower speeds than they were at the start of the trial. Injuries, bus journey times and air quality have remained constant.
Cycling has increased even on 20 mph main roads

The two areas in the trial covered around 500 streets from the south and east of Bristol. The project aimed to test whether the success achieved in Portsmouth could be replicated on Bristol streets.

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Signs of the times - relaxed rules for 'no entry except cycles'

13 October 2011
After years of lobbying for simple changes to traffic sign regulations, CTC is pleased that the Government has finally agreed to a relaxation of certain rules, such as permitting an ‘except cycles’ plate to be used in conjunction with a ‘no entry’ sign.
No entry except cycles

The changes - set out in Government document 'Signing the Way' - should make streets safer and road engineering cheaper. The move comes as part of the outcome of the Traffic Signs Review announced by Norman Baker MP.

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Success for local campaigners in Wendover

1 March 2012
The first cycle route to be installed in Wendover for five years was opened in the small Buckinghamshire town at the beginning of March.
Success for local campaigners in Wendover

This came after years of hard work and a final ferocious fight from local people and cycling campaigners, including local CTC volunteers, to ensure the parish council kept their promise of investment in cycling in the area.

Peter Hardy, Cabinet Member for Buckinghamshire County Council opened the route with a celebratory bike ride by children from local schools. An impressive swell of public support saw the route being saved after a last minute attempt to prevent £300,000 of investment in the local town, which is already suffering from car congestion and parking problems.

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Cities fit for cycling

The Times has launched a campaign to improve cycle safety following the serious injury to a reporter on the paper. An 8 point manifesto has been published, with the focus on lorries, junctions, cycle infrastructure and 20 mph as the default urban speed limit.
Cities fit for cycling

In November last year Mary Bowers, a journalist at The Times, was crushed by a lorry while cycling to work in east London. She remains in hospital unconscious 3 months on.

In response to this horrific event her colleagues on the paper have now launched a major campaign to increase safety for cyclists in Britain. In doing so they have taken advice from CTC and other organisations and come up with an 8 point plan of action.

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Government announces long awaited changes to signing policy

After years of lobbying for simple changes to traffic sign regulations, CTC is pleased that the Government has finally agreed to a relaxation of certain rules, such as permitting an ‘except cyclists’ plate to be used in conjunction with a ‘no entry’ sign.
No entry except cycles

The changes should make streets safer and road engineering cheaper. The move comes as part of the outcome of the Traffic Signs Review announced by Norman Baker MP.

The number of motor vehicles which contravened the restrictions was halved and there was an increase in the number of cyclists using the contraflow schemes compared to the prescribed solution of using the ‘no motor vehicles’ traffic sign. Signing the Way

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Portsmouth 20 mph limits lead to lower speeds and fewer casualties

15 September 2010
Two years after implementation of 20mph speed limits on 94% of the Portsmouth street network, results have shown that speeds fell, especially on roads where speeds were already high. Casualties have declined and attitudes of people to 20mph and both walking and cycling have improved.
Children campaigning for 20mph in Portsmouth

Since speeds were already low on most of the streets in the scheme (Portsmouth has narrow residential streets with lots of car parking), the overall reduction in speeds was low - around 1.3mph. However, on the streets where average speeds were greater than 24mph a 6.3mph reduction occurred.

Comparing the 3 years before the scheme was implemented and the 2 years afterwards, the number of recorded road casualties has fallen by 22% from 183 per year to 142 per year, faster than the fall in casualties in comparable areas elsewhere in the country.

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