On-road or Off-road?


Jim – my wishlist can be summed up as ‘Hembrowland’ – which gives segregation as much as is practically possible. Residential streets appear to rely on speed reduction & intelligent design.

In the end I’ve voted for striving for as complete segregation as we can, on the premise that if it’s done to a high standard then I wouldn’t want to ride on the adjacent road. The key point being the ‘high standard’ that I’ve yet to see.

My wife and I voted that way too. We spent a few days cycling in Hembroland last summer and it is really quite wonderful! The most remarkable thing is the attitude of car drivers, they always give way and drive very slowly and carefully whenever cyclists are near. It is not so much the speed reduction and design of residential streets but that the cars (which are very few) are so considerate. A big question for the Embassy is how to change driver attitude.

I voted for complete segregation on the basis that if you aim for this you will end up with no4.

My street is a traffic calmed 20mph zone with massive speed bumps, but it’s double parked with a narrow gap down the middle and people still use it as a rat run and try and squeeze past even though there’s not enough room. I usually ride down the middle – so they rev their engines or beep at me. Either way this is far from a stress free way to ride!

I agree completely, sometime it is best to aim for the most extreme option in anticipation of settling for something less (but still acceptable)

I voted for 4 although I appreciate the logic of aiming for the skies. But realistically, from a rural perspective, the rural roads are our cycling facilities (and if they’re quiet enough they’re really good, whereas most of the separated lanes run alongside major A roads and aren’t all that pleasant). Good signposting, allowing cyclists to avoid the dual carriageways and take the quiet back routes, would make the most difference and it’s cheap too. Of course I’m fortunate in living in an area (Southwest Scotland) with lots of tiny single track roads where there are barely any cars. And I do find that once I get into town, then it’s even more important to have good segregation because it’s quite hard to change mental gears into riding among proper traffic again.

AKA TownMouse

I voted 3. Demanding complete segregation is waste of time – it is not achieveable and it simply makes you look like an extremist. In fact the Netherlands, which we hold out as the example to emulate, has only about 20,000km of cycle path to about 140,000km of roads, so quite evidently the majority of cycling route must be on-road. Point is of course that all roads which are really not possible to make cycle-safe have segregated paths, the rest are calmed, speed-limited and generally quite well-designed for cyclists needs.


I believe we need complete segregation on roads where the speed limits are in excess of 40 mph, and preferably 30 mph. Why? Look at the danger from collision at those speeds.
Clearly, speed limits in residential and urban / suburban areas need to be limited to 20 mph.
Permeability for cyclists and pedestrians in residential areas, access only for motor-vehicles.

Essentially the Dutch model.

Complete segregation…push the cars and trucks into the periphery.

There’s an often quoted but unsourced quote from Bakunin that states: “By striving to do the impossible, man has always achieved what is possible. Those who have cautiously done no more than they believed possible have never taken a single step forward.”

That’s precisely where “vehicular cycling” got us…