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Cycling by Design: CIHT Webinar held jointly With CILT: 13 January 2022

Many points of interest to CILT emerged from the CIHT webinar in which Andrew Kelly and Alan Oliver of Jacobs presented this new living document produced by Transport Scotland with SCOTS and Sustrans that responds to a recommendation by the Active Travel Taskforce, and directly supports the Vision, Priorities and Outcomes of the NTS2.

Cycling by Design is intended to enable experienced designers to integrate cycling into a holistic and attractive built environment, and should be applied to all schemes delivering:

• cycling infrastructure
• new and improved roads
• new developments
• any other built environment feature where cycling should be considered.

Cycling for Design has 12 key messages for designers:

• we must plan and design for mass cycling by all kinds of people and different kinds of bike. Cycling infrastructure should be seen as something that can be used by everyone.
• cycling infrastructure must be fully accessible and enable everyone to use it.
• bikes must be treated as vehicles. Cycle users travel at very different speeds from pedestrians, and these users should be separated from each other.
• cycling takes physical effort. The design if infrastructure should not add to that effort.
• cycle routes should form part of fully connected networks. We would not design a road network that 'abandoned' drivers or required them to get out and push.
• cycle users must be protected from motor traffic by physical separation.
• cycle routes should be intuitive for all who use them or interact with them.
• cycling infrastructure should contribute positively to a sense of place, attracting people to use it and spend time there.
• design must be with maintenance in mind, since well-designed and installed infrastructure can be easily undermined if it becomes too difficult to maintain.
• trialling cycling infrastructure by removing through traffic on a temporary basis can help test it and win public support.
• designers should cycle and experience each route they design to fully appreciate the issues that users will face.
• for these reasons, the design requirements are higher than previously. Exceptions can be applied only when absolutely necessary for completion of a full cycle network.

Core design principles relate to key outcomes:

• safety: designs should minimise the potential for actual and perceived accident risk. Users should feel safe as well as be safe at all stages of their journey
• coherence: cycling infrastructure should form a coherent network which links origins and destinations.
• directness: cycle-users should be offered the most direct route based on existing and latent trip desire lines.
• comfort: routes should minimise mental and physical stress and effort, be convenient and avoid complex manoeuvres.
• attractiveness: infrastructure should be designed in harmony with its surroundings, with lighting, personal security, aesthetics, environmental quality and noise as important considerations.
• adaptability: cycling infrastructure should be able to evolve and improve as cycle demands change.

It is a critical requirement of Cycling by Design that all new or improved cycling infrastructure, road improvements, new developments and public realm improvements are designed to meet the needs of all cycle users. A high level of service will be suitable for most users, including new and less confident ones. A medium level of service, e.g. less direct and some mixing with motor traffic, may not be suitable for some users, particularly novice users. A low level of service, e.g. cycle users must dismount or are "abandoned" at the end of a route, will not be suitable for a range of users, including novice and intermediate use. When defining networks for each mode, the aim should be for walking, wheeling and cycling to be at least as convenient, and ideally more convenient, than making the same journey by car.

Whenever Scottish Government funding, support or approval is needed to change the transport system, an appraisal using Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) is required, and its use is also encouraged in other circumstances. The aim should be for the cycle network to be at least as dense and to provide as much coverage as the road network for the same area. This essentially means that every street should provide a high level of service for cycling, either through low-traffic conditions or protected cycle facilities. The Design Review process applies to all schemes incorporating cycling infrastructure, new and improved roads, new developments, and any other built environment feature where cycling should be considered.

Where designers are unable to meet the requirements set by Cycling by Design, the Review will set out the requirement(s) not able to be met, reasons why the requirement(s) are not able to be met, impact that falling below the design requirement will have on the project's objectives, type of users, e.g. novice, intermediate etc., who are likely to be excluded from the infrastructure, any safety or accessibility issues created for cycle users or other users, and recommendations for alternative actions that could be undertaken to enable these requirements to be met (such as land acquisition or the closure of the motor traffic lane).

Types of cycle link may be mixed traffic streets, detached or remote cycle tracks, cycle track at carriageway level, stepped cycle track, cycle track at footway level or cycle lanes. Key issues relating to the protection of cycle users from motor traffic are:

• Traffic volume and speed
• Junctions and accesses
• Cycle user connections

Cycle lanes should be considered only where cycle tracks cannot reasonably be provided. When identifying the most appropriate level of protection, consideration should be given to:

• does the presence of kerbside activity such as loading, parking and bus stops increase the risk to cycle users, even where the speed and volume conditions are met?
• how does the composition of traffic increase risk e.g. bus or HGV movements?
• does the frequency of vehicles lead to platooning that could increase risk for short periods e.g. on approach to ferry terminals?
• where dedicated cycle links are required to accommodate most users, how can these be accommodated in the geometric and placemaking design of the street?

These options for bus stops offer differing levels of separation:

• bus stop bypass (with island or continuous island)
• cycle track at bus boarder
• cycle lane across inset bus box
• cycle lane across in-line bus box.

Cycle tracks should be red in colour, whether asphalt, chips or screed.. Maintenance of cycle links is critical since poorly maintained cycle links will deter users from making cycle journeys, particularly new and less confident users, who are critical to meeting government policy targets of increased cycling mode share. Access to all cycle tracks by mechanical road brushers is essential. Controlled crossings can be zebra, separate or shared. Junctions include:

• priority junctions, with one route ceding priority to another• continuous cycle track and footway layouts are commonly and successfully used in several countries, but are a relatively new concept in Scotland.
• signal-controlled junctions

• options include:

• two-stage right-turn layout
• hold the left turn layout
• cycle bypass layout
• cycle gate layout
• advanced stop lines layout
• roundabouts where separation is achieved by providing a one-way circulatory cycle track around the roundabout and suitably designed crossings of each arm.

Well-designed parking with enough capacity and appropriate circulatory space reduces the clutter of cycles chained to other forms of street furniture, which can affect accessibility for all users. Longer-stay parking will be needed at places of work, in residential areas and at public transport interchanges and stops. Cycle hangars are weatherproof and reduce the anxiety of potential theft, can securely accommodate several cycles within less space than a standard on-street parallel parking space, provide space for optional branding which can support or fund their installation, and can be customised to suit demand, but may not be accessible to non-standard cycles and may require residents to rent a space or spaces.

Advantages of Wall Loops include that they are simple, relatively inexpensive and useful where footway widths are restricted, can be used to supplement stands in heavily used areas for short stay parking and will avoid clashing of pedals and/or handlebars, while being less secure and may not be suitable for some non-standard cycles. Cycle-stores are weatherproof and reduce the anxiety of potential theft, allowing cycle users to keep lights, attached, but are more expensive, require more space and maintenance and again may not be accessible to non-standard cycles. Cycle-parking within carparks offers increased security, can make efficient use of areas within the car park not otherwise used, but may not be sufficiently lit or covered.

As well as public transport, cycling can also be integrated with car club provision. An Active Travel Hub should be targeted at increasing the opportunities for walking, cycling and wheeling for functional journeys and connectivity with public transport as well as supporting the uptake of low carbon vehicles. End-of-trip facilities may include showers, lockers, drying rooms, ironing acilities, bicycle service/repair toolkits, active travel repair stations and e-bike charging facilities.

Report by John Yellowlees.

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