Detail behind the principles to making London's roads Go Dutch

Making our main roads Go Dutch will require a lot of attention to detail, and a lot of technical knowledge.

The know-how is available (it has been applied successfully on the Continent); now it needs to be pulled together and applied comprehensively here.

There are 10 simple, straightforward principles that characterise how the Dutch (and other successful cycling nations) organise their main roads

These principles must guide the way for Greater London...

1. Safety first

Londoners young or old, occasional cyclists or experienced ones, will be safe, and feel safe cycling on main roads. 

  • The quality of provision for cycling on London’s roads will not only enable more people to choose to cycle but will, in quantifiable terms, reduce collisions and the fear of collisions.
  • Along with high quality cycling facilities, motor traffic speeds will be reduced wherever Londoners are walking and cycling.
  • Main roads should be suitable for unaccompanied young people to cycle safely, and for their parents to feel confident that they are safe doing so.

2. Best practice

Londoners will benefit from the best available know-how in street design, public education and rules of the road, whether imported from The Netherlands or home-grown.

  • London’s authorities will adopt and uniformly implement international best practice to create space for cycling on main roads.
  • Making pedestrians and cyclists welcome will be the first priority for street design and access to new developments will also prioritise walking and cycling.

3. Adaptability

Londoners will benefit from the full suite of physical and other solutions available to make our main roads Go Dutch, tailoring solutions to circumstances.

  • Where a main road has high volume or speeds of motor traffic cyclists will be given protected space. This includes ‘separation,’ i.e. cycle-only tracks that are physically separated from main carriageway, as well as physically ‘protected’ lanes on the road itself.
  • Where ‘separation’ or ‘protection’ may not be possible on a main road (e.g. a narrow, crowded high street) then solutions such as reducing traffic speeds to 20 mph or prioritising access for pedestrians and cyclists will be used.
  • Cycling on minor roads to and from main roads will be safe and convenient through the application of measures such as: a universal 20 mph speed limit where people live, learn, work, and shop; use of cycle lanes; universal two way flows for cyclists; and filtering cyclists and pedestrians smoothly through restricted access routes for motor traffic (whether right at the junction with main roads themselves or at key locations nearby).

4. Easy passage

Londoners will enjoy clear and direct passage throughout our city by bike.

  • Cycle routes will be direct and free from diversion around motor traffic, and the delays this causes.
  • The passage of cyclists along main roads will be free from stopped/parked vehicles, signposts or other types of obstruction.
  • Cyclists will be given dedicated space away from motorised traffic on main roads (or where not possible, priority over motorised traffic) so that they are not endangered or intimidated by motor vehicles passing near them; in particular cyclists will not have to overtake motorised vehicles on the outside on main roads.
  • Cyclists will be able to make easy and safe transitions between dedicated and non-dedicated space.
  • Some Londoners cycle fast, some slow. All will have the space they need to use the roads together in harmony, even at peak times.

5. Calm junctions

Londoners will be able to negotiate all junctions safely and conveniently whether cycling or walking.

  • Cyclists will not need to cross lanes of fast moving motor traffic to make a turn.
  • The movement of cyclists and pedestrians will be given priority in space and time at junctions of all types (major or minor).
  • Those on a bike will be filtered through traffic signals, where it is safe to do so (e.g. T-junctions / left-turns).
  • Motor vehicles will give way to cyclists and pedestrians at junctions as part of a safe road culture.

6. Harmony with pedestrians

Londoners will be able to choose to cycle or walk to their destinations without impeding each other.

  • Speed limits of 20 mph will be the norm wherever Londoners live, work and shop, including access routes to main roads.
  • Main roads will offer walkers and cyclists sufficient and pleasant space to get around.
  • Crossings will prioritise the movement of cyclists and pedestrians.

7. Harmony with public transport

 Londoners will be able to safely cycle or use public transport alongside each other, and switch easily between the two.

  • Cyclists will have their own space on bus routes wherever possible.
  • Bus stops (as well as places for taxis to stop, loading bays for essential deliveries etc) will be arranged to allow safe passage of cyclists.
  • Bus lanes will be designed to harmonise with cycling facilities.
  • Cycling will be integrated with public transport, with easy access to interchanges and ample cycle parking.

8. Quality of life

 Londoners from all walks of life will be able to enjoy cycling on main roads, which will be improved to make them more pleasant and attractive places for everyone.

  • Making space on main roads will be done in such a way as to diversify the range of people cycling, to in turn reflect the diversity of London itself. 
  • Main roads will be transformed to give space for cycling in a way that makes them more pleasant places for all who are out and about.
  • Londoners will have ample secure parking for their bikes on main roads, especially where they shop and access businesses, services and amenities.

9. Commitment

Londoners will have cycling facilities that are properly managed and maintained.

  • London’s authorities will make sure the clear space given to cycling and walking are will be backed up by legal enforcement.
  • Physical provision for cyclists will be maintained at the high standard at which it was installed
  • Transport planning will have at its centre the fulfilment of the huge latent consumer demand for cycling, for the benefit of London and all Londoners.

10. Engagement

Londoners will be consulted about the way their local main roads should  Go Dutch.

  • Local people will be properly consulted on the changes they want to see to improve the environment for cycling and walking on nearby main roads.
  • London’s authorities will get best value for money by working closely with the voluntary sector to assess the best solutions for any location.

Download the Go Dutch Key Principles in full.

Return to the 'key principles'