Five Core Principles



Networks should serve all the main destinations, and new facilities should offer an advantage in terms of directness and/or reduced delay compared with existing provision. Routes and key destinations should be properly signed, and street names should be clearly visible. Route maps should be made available, and on-street maps can be helpful. Routes should be unimpeded by street furniture, pavement parking and other obstructions which can also be hazardous to visually impaired pedestrians. Delay for pedestrians and cyclists at signalled crossings should be minimised. Trip end facilities should be clearly marked, conveniently located and appropriate for the likely length of stay. Designers should consider the future ease of maintenance, including access to vehicles for sweeping, trimming grass verges and surface and lighting repairs along off-road routes.


Cycling networks should link trip origins and key destinations, including public transport access points. The routes should be continuous and coherent (type and colour of surfacing may be used to stress route continuity as appropriate). There should be provision for crossing busy roads and other barriers, and in some areas there should be a positive advantage over private motor traffic. Routes should be provided into and through areas normally inaccessible to motor vehicles, such as parks and vehicle restricted areas. Safe access for pedestrians and cyclists should be provided during road works. The needs of people with various types and degrees of disability should be taken into account through consultation and design.


Not only must infrastructure be safe, but it should be perceived to be safe. Traffic volumes and speeds should be reduced where possible to create safer conditions for cycling and walking. Reducing traffic can sometimes enable the introduction of measures for pedestrians and cyclists that might not otherwise be viable. Opportunities for redistributing space within the highway should be explored, including moving kerb lines and street furniture, providing right turn refuges for cyclists or separating conflicting movements by using traffic signals. The potential for conflict between pedestrians and cyclists should be minimised. Surface defects should not be allowed to develop to the extent that they become a hazard, and vegetation should be regularly cut back to preserve available width and sight lines. The risk of crime can be reduced through the removal of hiding places along the route, provision of lighting and the presence of passive surveillance from neighbouring premises or other users. Cycle parking should be sited where people using the facilities can feel safe.
The needs of pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians should be considered where their routes cross busy roads, especially in rural areas.


Infrastructure should meet design standards for width, gradient and surface quality, and cater for all types of user, including children and disabled people. Pedestrians and cyclists benefit from even, well maintained and regularly swept surfaces with gentle gradients. Dropped kerbs are particularly beneficial to users of wheelchairs, pushchairs and cycles, and tactile paving needs to be provided to assist visually impaired people. Dropped kerbs should ideally be flush with the road surface. Even a very small step can be uncomfortable and irritating for users, especially if there are several to be negotiated along a route.


Aesthetics, noise reduction and integration with surrounding areas are important. The environment should be attractive, interesting and free from litter and broken glass. The ability for people to window shop, walk or cycle two abreast, converse or stop to rest or look at a view makes for a more pleasant experience. Public spaces need to be well designed, finished in attractive materials and be such that people want to stay. The surfaces, landscaping and street furniture should be well maintained and in keeping with the surrounding area. Issues of light pollution should be considered, in addition to personal security in rural and semi-rural routes.