DfT turns down single cycle design standard for England

 

The Government has rejected calls for a single design standard for cycling infrastructure covering the whole of England.

Responses to a consultation on the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Draft Cycling Plan raised pressure on ministers to introduce national cycle guidelines that would combat bad road design and ensure infrastructure is ‘designed and built fit for purpose’.

However the DfT said it did not consider such a step as ‘the best way forward for England at this present time’, highlighting that councils already had a ‘variety of quality guidance’ to hand.

This decision came despite pressure last month from 24 major UK business including Glaxosmithkline and Sky UK for the introduction of uniform guidance on cycling for local authorities.

Some 3,500 pedal cyclists were killed or seriously injured in the year ending September 2014, marking an 8% increase on 2013.

Campaign groups such as Sustrans have recently stepped up demands for ‘urgent’ action to make roads safer for those on two wheels.

Respondents to the DfT consultation referred the Government to the Dutch cycling infrastructure design standards, recommending that such a model could be a ‘good example’ of what England should now adopt to better protect road users.

In its comments, the DfT said it wanted to ‘encourage a combination of measures aimed at ensuring good design’ including ‘the sharing of good practice designs’ that members of the Cycle Proofing Working Group can take forward in delivering.

The DfT recommended England’s local authorities examine the Welsh Government’s recent Active Travel Design Guidance, which it described as a ‘well evidenced, practical guide’ that is ‘likely to be particularly useful for rural authorities’.

Transport for London’s recently revised London Cycle Design Standards outlined ‘six core design outcomes’ that would form best practice, including safety, directness, comfort, coherence, attractiveness and adaptability.

 

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