Five points from Britain

Five points from Understanding Walking and Cycling – particularly like point 5:

1. If cycling conditions remain much as they are across Britain, cycling will remain a very minor mode of urban mobility, practised mainly by a committed hardcore of cyclists who feel able to “do battle” with motorised traffic, while being completely off-putting for “the normal”, and vast, majority. Current conditions for cycling STOP Britain cycling.

2. A significant increase in levels of cycling requires a reversal in the balance of power between the car and the bicycle. Travel by car for short trips in urban areas must become more difficult, so that it starts to feel abnormal and exceptional. In contrast, policies must be put in place that make cycling easy, safe, comfortable, and accepted as the normal and obvious way of moving around urban areas for most people.

3. It is essential that the urban environment is made safe for cyclists. This requires provision on all arterial and other busy roads in urban areas of dedicated space for cycling, separated from both motorised traffic and pedestrians. It is clear from the research that most non-cyclists and recreational cyclists will only consider cycling regularly if they are separated from motorised traffic and that pedestrians are hostile to pavement cyclists.

4. There needs to be effective restrictions on traffic speeds, parking and access on all residential roads and other routes without dedicated cycle and pedestrian paths so that cyclists (and also pedestrians) feel that they have a safe and convenient environment in which to travel. This could include 20mph speed limits and resident-only access by car in some areas.

5. All provision for cycling should be predicated on people often needing and/or wanting to travel as a group. It is very rare indeed for people currently to feel able to cycle together in British cities, which is a significant barrier to cycling in general but family and child cycling in particular; this must change for cycling to become normal. Dedicated cycling provision must be designed for group rather than solo cycling, and where cycling shares space with motorised traffic cyclists should be given priority.

About Peter Bartlett