Infrastructure: what changes do we need?

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Infrastructure: what changes do we need?

As you'll have seen on our news pages the 2014 AGM will all be about the Campaign for Real Cycle paths. In many ways, the big divisive argument of the last few years has been settled: we all want Space for Cycling. But what form should that space take? And what are the barriers - legal, technical, financial & practical in making that a reality. 

We stand at the threshold of something exciting in cycle campaigning - a united front of almost all cycle organisations in favour of bikes being given their own space, suitable for all ages and abilities. But we also risk falling into the trap of wasting a lot of money on 'Dutch roundabouts' that aren't Dutch, 'Copenhagen-style cycle tracks' that the Danish would laugh at and 'continental junctions' that leave cyclists in more danger than they were before. What are the clear asks that we can make that will mean getting something decent? What laws do we need to change? What adjustments do we need to make to best practice to make things work in a UK setting? 

Tell us your thoughts below - or come along to our AGM in Brighton to debate this stuff in person 


My thoughts for a London borough:

1) Identify the most desired routes 

Not specific roads, but starting and ending points: where people want to get from and to. This should be doable, if complicated, using TfL's vast amount of information on things like bus & rail passengers, short car journeys and existing cycle traffic.

2)  Choose 1 - 3 of them

Based on desirability of route, size of benefit and ease of completion.

3) Persuade the council to spend their promised cycling money on making one of these routes cycleable by an 8 year old, end to end, safely and stress-free. 

4) Repeat every 6[4? 3?] months until there are no desired routes left


My inspiration for this comes from two projects, one real and one aspirational - the Tavistock Place cycle path & the Clerkenwell Boulevard proposal. By having a route so popular that you get cycling congestion, it is easier to show off the benefits of good infrastructure. Figure out where that's most likely to happen beforehand, then the success of each route will make it easier to demand "one more like that".


How I, as a complete non-expert, achieve step 3 is something I hope other commenters can answer...

redrobin's picture

I think a priority should be ensuring cycle infrastructure at junctions is adequate. There are plenty of accounts available of cycle lanes that vanish at junctions or cyclepaths that force users to dismount and use pedestrian crossings. Junctions are frequently the slowest and most dangerous points on a cycle journey and junction design should ensure that this is not the case. Segregation should be used a lot more than at present.


Getting a UK version of protected intersections would be a real boon, if we could make it compatible with UK regs (or work out what changes are needed). Then it would *just* take the political will to implement it

(edited to add: Paul James has done a lot of the work for this at Pedestrianise London here and here)

AKA TownMouse

pete owens

Pushing for the default urban speed limit to be changed to 20mph would be my priority.

  • It benefits all road users so it is extremely popular politically.
  • There is a momentum building as more and more local authorities are adopting lower speed limits.
  • Guidelines have been relaxed to make it easier to adopt lower limits.
  • The fact that some authorities have done it destroys the argument that "it can't ber done"

The main obstacle is the rearguard resistance from the highwaymen and the police who are still entrenched in the absurd outdated practices of the last century where limits could only be reduced where drivers were already observing them (defeating the object of the exercise). We need to keep up the pressure to stiffen the backbones of local councillors who tend to treat the opinions of professionals with undue deference.




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