Link criteria

The appropriate treatment for cycling on a given link is determined primarily by the volume and speed of motor traffic on that link, and to a lesser extent by the volume of bicycle traffic. Using this approach means that continuous, attractive conditions for cycling can be created on links that vary greatly in character.

Just as for a bicycle network, and for junctions, important general requirements for links should be met. For links, these are

  • directness
  • safety
  • comfort
  • attractiveness


This refers to both directness in terms of distance, and directness in terms of time. Diversions on links should be avoided; cycle routes should be as straight as possible. On large roads that are difficul to cross, this should mean providing two-way cycle routes on each side of the road, to minimise diversion. 

Directness in terms of time on links means, in particular, that the width of cycle routes should be adequate enough to allow easy overtaking.  


Here the principles of sustainable safety should be employed. In particular, that of homogeneity of mass, speed and direction

In practice this means that cycle traffic should not share the same space with vehicles that differ greatly in mass - buses, lorries, and so on. Likewise, where speeds differ, cycling should be separated from motor traffc. If it is not possible to physically separate, then motor vehicle speeds should be reduced, and vehicles of greater mass should be re-routed onto different roads. 

At points of conflict, speeds of motorised traffic should be reduced. (More detail in the junctions section). 

Homogeneity of direction means that conflicts with oncoming traffic should be removed or minimised. Two-way cycle tracks should be of adequate width, and have appropriate visibility.


The unpleasantness of cycling next to or in motor traffic should be kept to a minimum - otherwise known as subjective safety. 

Cycling on links should be on smooth surfaces, and with smooth transitions; sharp gradients and bends must be avoided. 


Cycling should have a high level of social safety, and should be pleasant, without the nuisance caused by traffic noise and fumes.