Sharing Road Space: Drivers and Cyclists as Equal Road Users

Scottish Executive Central Research Unit
Publication date: 
January 2001

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The Government has made a commitment to sustainable transport as part of an integrated transport strategy, encouraging a decrease in the use of cars and increasing the use of cycling as a viable mode of transport. As one element of their transportation policies, local authorities are expected to produce local cycling strategies which include the implementation of improvements to infrastructure and the initiation of traffic management measures. These can incorporate elements such as the reallocation of road space, integration of cycling with public transport modes and provision of facilities for cycle parking and the carriage of cycles.

In line with this strategy, the Scottish Executive has set an objective to increase cycling as a mode of transport for people of all ages. George Street Research was commissioned to undertake a programme of research that would explore the attitudes of drivers and cyclists towards each other in an urban context. The key objectives of the research were to look at the attitudes of different groups of road users towards each other as equal road users, to identify circumstances where conflict may occur and establish the barriers and problems to viewing others as equal road users and make recommendations to overcome these. The research was undertaken within the context of the present road infrastructure and was not intended to make recommendations based on engineering or enforcement solutions to road conflicts.