Strategic Cycle Routes

I have been banging on about deficiencies in the borough’s plans for some time. To push some more I have written a brief paper that I hope to get onto the agenda for the next CLG.

Richmond Cycle Routes

What I have tried to produce is the draft for a system that would provide safe , reasonably direct, routes for all bike users  8-80+ across the borough and into adjacent boroughs at least during daylight hours and that is realistically achievable.

Any constructive comments gratefully received

Paul rides@richmondlcc.co.uk

8 thoughts on “Strategic Cycle Routes

  1. “Can we agree that providing a cycle network isn’t primarily for cyclists who will cycle anyway but for people who currently regard cycling as too dangerous?”

    The problem here is that there are four types of cyclist, not two.

  2. Yes I was “lumping”. Actually there are as many types of (actual/potential) cyclists as there are people. All surveys show that a lot of people give “too dangerous” as a reason for not cycling.

  3. “All surveys show that a lot of people give “too dangerous” as a reason for not cycling.”

    This is true, but this still leaves between 8% – 14% of people who give other reasons for not cycling.

    Cycling England said in their report entitled ‘Making a Cycling Town’:

    “Finding the right target audience is the essential starting point for cost effective behaviour change.”

    You are saying the right target audience, given our current starting point, is that group of cyclists known as the Interested but Concerned. Are you prepared to explain why you think this is a good idea? Do you know of any towns and cities which have successfully provided for this group as a first step?

  4. Seville would seem to be a case where a comprehensive network was put in before opponents got organised and seems to have produced a surge in cycling.
    Modifying road conditions may not be easy but easier than changing the weather which is another “reason for not cycling”.
    When even Chris Boardman is saying (Guardian) that cycling on roads is too stressful I don’t see any downside to trying to get a cycle-friendly network.

  5. According to People for Bikes, the installation of Seville’s cycling network “was literally a communist plot”. It seems that in 2003 more Communists than usual were voted onto the city council. The left-wing party had pledged a major investment in bike transportation, and after they joined a coalition with the center-left Socialist party, they delivered. The network has been in place for about ten years now. Despite being a considerable success, no other town or city has been able to replicate the model they used.

    One of the biggest obstacles to any meaningful progress in London, I submit, is a lack of understanding about the potential market. For example, the London Cycle Network sought to “cater for all age groups whether they are new to cycling or existing regular cyclists”. This was replaced by the LCN+, which, it was hoped, would give “people of all ages, abilities and cultures the incentive, confidence and facilities to cycle whenever it suits them”. More recently we have the Central London Bike Grid, which, argues the London Cycling Campaign, “must be just as suitable for children, inexperienced cyclists and disabled cyclists as it is for faster commuter cyclists”. Now we have Space for Cycling, where the idea here, according to Cycling UK, is to “plan a full network of cycle-friendly routes that allow people of all ages and abilities to cycle anywhere for any purpose.”

    For more than twenty years, the idea has been to create cycling facilities which can be used by people of all ages and abilities (Triple A-standard), more or less as a first step, despite the fact that this strategy is incredibly difficult to realise, and almost certainly does not work.

    In the case of the Cycle City Ambition programme, the priority market is not those people who currently ride a bike (regular and occasional cyclists), but those who don’t currently ride a bike (but want to). When the basics have not even been put in place yet, why is the bar consistently set so high?

    Hughes et al. (2004) say: “Strategic cycling plans should consider whether or not it is practical to design facilities so that they are suitable for cyclists of basic competence.

  6. Sorry — just read that Guardian article you referenced.

    Boardman said: “I’m interested in the people in the cars. Getting them to change, it’s got to be easy, appealing and safe, in that order.”

    He added: “If it’s not the easiest solution, they’re not going to do it. If it looks a bit intimidating, they are not going to do it. And that means space, and it means joined-up space. I’m only going to make a piece of cycling infrastructure if it’s joined up, otherwise it’s wasting everybody’s money.”

  7. We certainly know that half-baked disconnected fragments are useless and that, unfortunately, is how LCN ended up as the easy bits were done and the junctions kicked down the road. My scheme is joined-up and requires very little main-road engineering. It utilises existing appealing and safe parkland sections . “Easy” is partially achieved by legibility and publicity. Easiest is partially a matter of discouraging motorised choices but that would not go down well with the current council.

  8. Pingback: The great big ‘Cycling Menace’ bike blog roundup) CEoGB

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