Cycle Superhighways manifesto says make routes attractive to novice cyclists

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To generate the desired growth in cycling, the Cycle Superhighways must be immediately attractive to less experienced occasional cyclists and they must be safe, and feel safe.

It is counter-productive to expend resources on marketing poor-quality routes, or worse unsafe routes.

If there is a gap between the promise of the experience and the reality, it will turn people off cycling and undermine the credibility of the Superhighways.

To be successful in attracting occasional cyclists to become regular commuters we must be clear about the quality of experience occasional cyclists would perceive as  ‘continuous’, ‘convenient’, and ‘safe’. This can then inform route design.

The following ‘usability criteria’ have been informed by London Cycling Campaign’s many years of experience supporting cyclists, improving conditions for cyclists and advising on the design of cycling facilities.

LCC Superhighway manifesto

Part 1: Safety

Routes must be safe and also feel safe:

  • I will feel that I have enjoyed my cycle journey, not merely survived it;
  • I will feel safe throughout my journey, and feel it is safe for less experienced cyclists; 
  • I will not feel that motor-traffic is dominant and that I am a third-class road user;
  • My route will have some traffic-free/access-only streets (no through traffic) to provide rewarding and pleasant sections/ incentives to commute daily.

Part 2: Cycle priority

Capacity and width must be more than adequate for peak flows throughout (on- or off-road). Route quality must be continuous with no dismounting:

  • My route will not be blocked by loading vehicles and  queues of stationary traffic;
  • I will not feel that buses / other HGVs are overtaking too close;
  • I will not have to overtake buses and other vehicles on the outside;
  • I will be able to overtake slower cyclists, without putting myself (or others) at risk;
  • I will be able to cycle at the speed I want to
  • I will not feel I have to cycle ‘fast’ to keep up with the traffic (or other cyclists);
  • I will not have to stop / brake to avoid taxis / vans / cars cutting in front of me;
  • I will not have to worry about ‘dooring’ – or parked vehicles pulling out;
  • I will not have to cycle head-down watching out for potholes / other surface hazards
  • I will know that if an accident is imminent, I do have an escape route (no railings, etc).

Part 3: Junctions

There should be no gyratories. Department for Transport guidance says there is no safe cycling solution to a multi-lane roundabout:

  • I will not be required to cross lanes of faster-moving traffic/compete for position;
  • My route (ahead) through the junction will be clear (and respected by drivers);
  • I will not incur time-delays if I use cycle-specific (or pedestrian-shared) crossings;
  • I will be able to by-pass traffic signals (where it is safe to do so) for example at T-junctions / left-turns;
  • On red, I will stop in a (more) advanced, visible position, and be able to go before general traffic is released;
  • If I am crossing a major road, I will have ample time to make a direct crossing (safely);
  • If I am crossing a minor road, I will not have to give way & emerging vehicles will do so slowly;
  • I will not have to keep getting a map out to check I am on the correct route;
  • I will be able to join or exit the main route safely and conveniently.

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