Cycling in New Developments

Cambridge Cycling Campaign
Publication date: 
April 2008

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This briefing, from Cambridge Cycling Campaign sets out our aspirations
for the new developments being planned for the Cambridge sub-region.
In it, we summarise the best way to provide for cycling in these new developments.
Cycling fits perfectly with a range of national policy on transport, health, the environment and CO2 reduction; it also dovetails well with the government’s desire for ‘eco-towns’.
Over 25% of all journeys in Cambridge to work are by bike and a large proportion of other trips are too. We want to ensure Cambridge’s cycling culture is maintained in the new developments. See page 6.
Most British cycling infrastructure is poor quality, because it is not designed with cyclists’ actual needs in mind. Firstly, developers need to make space for cycling, preferably on the road. Secondly, whatever seems daft to a car driver is equally silly to a cyclist. Yet in the UK, poles in cycle paths, constant give ways, etc., are the norm.
This approach must be avoided in the new developments. Cyclists really want the same as car drivers want: convenience, directness and speed. See page 8.
Providing for cycling often doesn’t mean cycle-specific infrastructure, but simply a cycle/pedestrian–friendly environment.
Cycling is much easier when traditional, inter-connected street layouts are used, in line with the government’s new Manual For Streets.
Cul-de-sacs and winding roads should be avoided. See page 9.
We outline ten key principles for cycling on page 10.
Regarding the on-street environment, developers should avoid pavement-style cycleways next to roads. These rarely meet cyclists’ needs properly, and are unpopular with pedestrians. Instead, developers should remember that the normal street environment is where cyclists spend most of their time travelling and make those areas as cyclefriendly as possible. So developers should:
i. design the overall development in a way which minimises the need to travel by integrating land uses, e.g. by locating facilities and ideally workplaces reasonably near to the housing;
ii. for the main roads through a development: provide on-road cycle lanes of good width (at least 2m wide, never less than 1.5m), or so-called ‘hybrid lanes’ (which are also on-road but which provide some protection but good visibility and directness
– see page 13).
iii. in the local connecting streets where most of the housing is located, design for lower traffic speeds, e.g. avoiding excessive visibility; these will form the majority of journeys as well as help facilitate children learning to ride.
These are outlined in pages 12-17 in detail.
Cycle parking should be provided throughout a development in secure and accessible locations, as we outline on page 18.