Standards for Cycle Provision

Recent publications have redefined the government position on cycle infrastructure and at the same time made appropriate information much more easily available [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]. A few key points appropriate to Hindhead are emphasized here.

Cycling has the potential of being a major form of everyday travel, particularly for journeys of up to a few miles. At the same time it can deliver valuable physical exercise and contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Roads dominated by motor traffic are frequently quoted by people as the major deterrent to cycle use. Increased cycle use can contribute to the cohesion of a community as it enhances contact between people, which in turn can bring benefits such as reduced crime rates and the creation of a more appealing place in which to live. Cycling can also deliver independent transport for those too young to drive, those unable to drive for medical reasons and those simply unable to afford the cost of owning a car.

The opening of the Hindhead tunnel gives the opportunity to make the current A3 part of the community of the village, rather than a moat that is nearly impossible to cross. Good provision for cycle transport should be part of that community, allowing a natural concept that all roads are part of the cycle network. The Manual for Streets [4] and Cycle Friendly Infrastructure (LTN2/08) [5] have specific recommendations about integrating cycle traffic with motor traffic, summarised as the Hierarchy of Provision:

    Consider first: Traffic volume reduction
      Traffic speed reduction
      Junction and hazard treatment, traffic management
      Use of bus lanes, wide lanes, cycle lanes to reallocate carriageway space
      Cycle tracks away from roads
    Consider last: Conversion of footways/footpaths to shared use for pedestrians and cyclists

Cycling England [1] adds to this with five key principles on how to encourage cycle use:

    Convenient Direct and with the minimum of delay, follow desire lines, have continuity
    Accessible Link all origins and destinations
    Safe Must be safe and feel safe
    Comfortable Built to the highest design standards, smooth surface
    Attractive Integrate into surrounding areas and create a high quality public realm

The Manual for Streets also looks at the potential users of a route and recommends a Hierarchy of Users that should be considered in designing transport infrastructure:

    Consider first: Pedestrians
      Public transport users
      Specialist service vehicles (emergency services, waste, etc)
    Consider last: Other motor traffic