The lack of separation from motor traffic limits the appeal of cycling to those who are sufficiently fast and brave. Cycling in reasonable safety amongst motor traffic requires the ability to accelerate rapidly to approximately 20mph (at least in short bursts) in order to deal with road features designed only to consider motorised vehicles, such as large roundabouts and junctions. The subjective attractiveness of cycling is also greatly limited.

Quality cycle infrastructure broadens the demographics of cycle use by removing these requirements, and also enables the use of different types of cycles, which are larger or may be limited in their ability to be rapidly accelerated to speed in traffic, such as recumbents, tricycles and handcycles. It also allows the use of mobility scooters. The provision of quality cycling infrastructure gives disabled and elderly people independence and safety.