Reduced car speed the best way to increase cycling safety

This literature review considers the role of infrastructure in relation to the safety of cyclists and their interaction with other road users. It was undertaken as part of the wider research programme, Road User Safety and Cycling, being led by TRL. The paper identifies the influence of infrastructure on intermediate, behavioural, outcomes which may influence casualty risk, such as the speed of motorised traffic, cyclist route choice and manoeuvres etc. Of all interventions to increase cycle safety, the strongest evidence is for the benefits resulting from reduction in the general speed of motorised traffic. This may be achieved through a variety of methods including physical traffic calming; urban design that changes the appearance and pedestrian use of a street; and, possibly, the wider use of 20mph speed limits. The literature review also identifies the potential benefits of treating junctions, particularly interventions that slow the speed of motorised traffic through them. The review identifies the potential benefits of segregated networks for cyclists but notes evidence that cyclists may be exposed to heightened risk where cycle networks intersect the general highway network. The review also identifies a number of techniques to improve cyclist safety that are in use in overseas but which have not been commonly applied in the UK. Given the limitations of many existing types and approaches to infrastructure, more innovation and experimentation, supported by appropriate monitoring, is recommended.

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Promoting everyday cycling