Local Cycle Strategies

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Katsdekker's picture
Local Cycle Strategies

We want your comments and questions!

Background here http://cycling-embassy.org.uk/wiki/local-cycle-strategies

CraftyDutchie's picture

The Wolverhampton Cycling Strategy dates from 2005 and they don't sound too keep to update it...


West Sussex County Council used to have a Cycling Strategy, but they have dropped it along with the post of County Cycling Officer. They no longer have any County-wide strategy for cycling, and all planning has been devolved to many local District committees. No-one has a clue what is going on, and all past plans seem to have been dropped.

The West Sussex Cycle Forum has suggested that they could write a cycling strategy for WSCC (for free, of course!), and the county have agreed to look at and possibly adopt it. But without any leadership for a county-level strategy it seems that all hope of anything useful being done for people on bicycles in West Sussex has been dashed.


Richmond Council (London, not Yorkshire!) is putting together a new one at the moment, and they've promised it's not going to be too full of guff. I'll share as soon as I see it. 


Test Valley Borough Council have a Cycle Strategy and Network Supplementary Planning Document (2009), available from here...


The local BUG also have a link, including minutes of previous BUG meetings...


I haven't had any involvement with these, although I've checked them out before on the TVBC website, out of interest.

In terms of impact, I can only speak as I find, as a jobbing day to day utility cyclist and cycle commuter in Andover. Certainly 10 or 12 years ago I could cycle to work (30 mins each way) and barely see another cyclist all week. That would be unthinkable now, I see a couple of dozen every day.

To my mind there have been two areas of improvement. The first is around the town centre, where cycle paths (usually shared use) are being installed, seemingly when other surface work presents an opportunity. Secondly, the many new housing developments springing up on the outskirts of town all seem to come with wide (3m?) shared use paths. The whole lot are gradually joining up, and it's getting easier to cycle around Andover whilst staying away from traffic. So, it seems to me that the local strategy is broadly working, in that lots of pieces of infrastructure work are gradually coming together into a co-ordinated whole. There's still a long way to go of course.

This seems to be happening in the teeth of a typically car centric town, where the talk in the local paper is all about 're-engaging with the motorist' to save the town centre shops etc. This is where the local strategy falls down in my view. I detect a lack of willingness or political will to tackle car culture, but I guess TVBC are hardly unique in that respect.

Without getting into the 'correctness' of the local facilities and the whole segregation vs. integration thing, most locals seem to prefer cycle paths and quiet roads. That said, there are certainly plenty who brave the busy roads as well, but they do broadly fit the young male sporty stereotype. I personally believe any further growth in cycling around these parts will come from the provision of more and better segregated routes.

The above is all personal, anecdotal and Andover centric of course. Others in TVBC area may feel very differently.



or the Cycling (Refreshed) Action Plan for Scotland as we like to call it  - will be mandating local cycle strategies so watch this space.

On the question of shared use paths I posted a question here http://cycling-embassy.org.uk/node/2595 - while I'd never *ask* for a shared use path, I do think they form a 'gateway' to better cycling provision especially if they do build cycling levels.  I got a bit of a kicking for it though :-)

AKA TownMouse

pete owens

I don't think it is worth putting any effort at all into local cycling strategies. They were all the rage at the time of the National Cycling Strategy 15 years ago. Campaigners round the country spent a lot of time getting council officers to get the right things into their cycling strategies - in many cases effectively writing the things. Council officers were quite happy to consult properly on the contents and this engendered a false sense of optimism that things were about to change.

Then when the documents were produced they were promplty consigned to the circular filing cabinet and everybody carried on exactly as before, designing our towns exclusively around the needs of motor vehicles.

Katsdekker's picture

I agree with you to a point.

The process of developing a strategy brings people together. That's where you can find your allies etc. Also: it's for campaigners to "keep strategies and policies alive"... remind politicians and officers of their existence and of policy clashes etc.

So, yes, it can be frustrating. But probably for different reasons.


AKA TownMouse

Katsdekker's picture

The borough South of Newcastle aka Gateshead has been trying to put together an update of a strategy. They are struggling.

Newcycling response here http://newcycling.org/news/20130221/gateshead-cycling-strategy-our-response

Katsdekker's picture
Re-revision. No comment. https://www.dropbox.com/s/kd91aoev3c64p10/working%20revision%202013%20gc... Well, no comment yet. On first quick scan it looked bad.
Paul Milne

This all looks good.

This from the East Lothian School Travel Coordinator/Cycle Officer:

"The Council do not currently have a Cycling Strategy however cycling will be included in our new Transport Strategy document which is to be prepared in the near future."

So that's clear then - I await it with some anticipation.


This blog post by Rachel Aldred on the Westminster cycling strategy is a handy 'cut out and keep' guide to responding to almost any local strategy http://rachelaldred.org/writing/westminster-cycling-consultation-please-respond/

in particular these bullets:

- Westminster needs to start seeing cycling as a solution, not a problem. Westminster’s problem is the continued prioritisation of private motor traffic.
- Getting the core network right is the priority here, given the currently poor provision.
- We need a commitment to the core network (at least) meeting the new TfL standards, defined in terms of coherence, directness, comfort, safety, attractiveness and adaptability.
- Westminster needs to move away from ‘Cycling Last’. Cycling is not something to facilitate only ‘where feasible’.
- The delivery of ‘quick wins’ needs to be accelerated.
- We need to know how Westminster will measure the extent to which it becomes a ‘national leader’ in cycling provision.

Just replace 'Westminster' with almost any LA in the country ...

AKA TownMouse


...why local strategies (cycling or otherwise) are useful, here's a masterful objection to a planning proposal using the council's own policies:


Well worth wading through all those documents!

AKA TownMouse

Katsdekker's picture

Worth a rummage http://www.ciht.org.uk/download.cfm/docid/FA128BBF-55CB-4440-B0A2929D7549C229

  • A discrete strategy for encouraging cycling
  • Clear cycling targets
  • Evidence that cycling is given a high priority and reflected in all transport policies
  • Interaction with the local planning authority to ensure that land use and development planning encourage people to cycle
  • Partnerships for action with health, education, commercial and voluntary bodies

And other suggestions... worth a read.


I'm not aware of Cambridge or Cambridgeshire having a cycling strategy, though there is a dedicated cycling projects team.

Cambridge and South Cambs have a transport strategy which mentions cyclng heavily http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/info/20006/travel_roads_and_parking/66/transport_plans_and_policies/2


The explicit plan for the city is not to provide additional capacity for private motor vehicles (because they physically can't) and to prioritise walking, cycling and public transport. However the hierarchy within those three is non-explicit, and with City Deal money they are gearing up to put in lots of bus priority schemes on major routes. However, sicne the major routes are still actually quite narrow, there's a big question mark over what this means for cycling.


http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/2722/2014-01-23_tscsc_strategy_-_v40_jstspg_changes_post_jst_and_spgpdf Walking and Cycling starts at 4-21 (yes, the lumped them together!)



"The strategy in Cambridge can be summarised as follows:

 High quality cycle provision, bringing in Dutch-style segregation along the main radial and orbital roads.

 Cycle safety measures at major junctions which could include innovative solutions such as separate signals for cyclists.

 Safe, convenient and frequent crossings for pedestrians, employing zebra crossings where possible and a pedestrian phase at signalised junctions.

 Review of on road car parking on roads forming part of the city cycle network to improve cycle provision.

 Using the opportunity that the new developments in and around the city present to create a step-change in the level and quality of walking and cycling facilities that are provided, which can in turn be plugged into the wider network.

 Provision of additional links on the existing network to join up key destinations that are already partially served by the network (for example the Chisholm Trail).

 As part of the wider corridor treatment, seek to widen existing cycle and pedestrian paths and introduce new segregated paths where appropriate. (Seek to ensure bus/cycle lanes are wide enough for a bus to overtake a cyclist without leaving the lane where space constraints allow).

 Increasing cycle parking capacity so this does not present a major barrier to certain cycling trips.

 Working with Cambridge City council to investigate opportunities for new city centre cycle parks or expansion of existing cycle parks.

 Working towards 20mph speed limits on all but major routes, which will make cycling safer and more attractive.

 Improving publicity and the legibility of the pedestrian and cycle network – in particular improving signage, providing information to tourists/visitors and marketing and promotion to new residents.

 Working with partners such as the NHS to publicise the health benefits associated with cycling and walking. "


Which sounds good, and I don't doubt the intentions of the cycle team, but some of that is going to be an uphill struggle.


It's pretty positive and the stuff funded by the Mayor is usually good. Problems occur when the County or govermnent funding are involved at which point space for cycling usually goes out of the window.


Linked from http://www.leicester.gov.uk/transport-and-streets/cycling-in-leicester


Clive Durdle

"The Mayor has set a target of a 400% increase in cycling to achieve a 5% mode share by



Redbridge has several documents, now half a decade out of date, and with extremely low targets.


Puzzling as we have a crossrail station and I thought foolishly everyone still wanted integrated transport, or did that go with Prescott?


Links to pdf docs here



Clive Durdle
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