This diagram was devised by committee member Chris Knight and shows the Google Bike-Journey Times using Main Road Routes i.e. those often carrying a high volume of motor traffic.
Not a choice for many of us at the moment then, and many of these routes, at the moment, are not going to encourage large numbers of people to abandon their cars and start using a bike for some of their journeys. It does, however, point out what a reallocation of road space could mean. With Segregated Protected Cycle Tracks it would be practical for everyone to have a real choice of using their bike more and their car less.
The government has, at last, taken the radical step of requiring much higher standards for new cycle infrastructure funding. This might just be the glimmer of light that many of us have been waiting so long for.
See further details below:
A couple of weeks ago the Department for Transport (dft) launched it’s document “Gear Change” which sets out it’s vision and the new standards required for cycling infrastructure. The new standards are listed as “Local Transport Notes (LTN’s) and are laid out as an Appendix to the document.
There will also be a new government body and Inspectorate called “Active Travel England” which will be headed by an Active Travel Commissioner. The Cycling budget will be held by this body and will refuse to fund any scheme that does not meet the new standards and principles described in the document.
The full document is available to read via this link:
but below are a few selected paragraphs to give a flavour of the contents.
They give an indication of the underlying thinking and of the ‘step-change’ that our Local Authority will have to make if they are to be true to the many pronouncements of their wish to make better provision for Cycling and Walking:
- “In urban areas more than 40% of car journeys were under 2 miles in 2017/18. (P. 11)
- We will invest substantial sums on safe cycle routes to stations. (P. 25)
- “Cycle Infrastructure should be accessible to everyone 8-80″. (LTN 1)
- ” New cycle route provision on busy roads which consist of Painted Markings of cycle symbols will no longer be funded. We want to see as many of the existing painted lanes as possible upgraded with physical separation” (p. 17)
- “Cycles must be treated as vehicles, not as pedestrians. New cycle provision which involves sharing space with pedestrians, including crossings will no longer be funded. (P. 17)
- “ At crossings and junctions cyclists should not share space used by pedestrians but should be provided with a separate parallel route” (LTN 2)
- “Cyclists must be physically separated and protected from high volume motor traffic both at
junctions and on the stretches of road between them” (LTN 3)
- “Cycle Infrastructure must join together…… a holistic connected network approach” (LTN 8)
- Route proposals should always include a clear programme of maintenance. (LTN 13)
- All designers of cycle schemes must experience the roads as a cyclist. (LTN 20)
Many of the LTN’s above are at odds with current Kirklees road projects.
It will be interesting to see how these might be changed to meet the new standards required by the – soon to be appointed – ‘Active Travel Commissioner’.
John Lewis -KCC Chair