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Toolkit identifies locations for cycleways in England

It has been developed to help inform bids for Tranche 2 of the Government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund, particularly for authorities which have not yet developed local walking and cycling investment plans.

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Blue lines show where there is high demand and sufficient space for cycling
Blue lines show where there is high demand and sufficient space for cycling

Sustrans, the UK walking and cycling charity, and the Department for Transport have commissioned Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, to develop a tool to help identify locations for new cycleways in England.

 

The Rapid Cycleway Prioritisation Tool identifies priority locations for new cycleways, ranking roads by their cycling potential estimated using the Propensity to Cycle Tool. This represents the estimated number of cycling trips along this road travelling to or from work or school assuming the Government’s aim to double cycling by 2025 is met.

 

Active travel fund

 

Last month, under new emergency statutory guidance, the Government told councils in England to reallocate road space for walking and cycling, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The money has been allocated in three tranches for councils to implement the measures needed to help people walk and cycle safely.

 

The tool has been developed to help inform bids for Tranche 2 of the Government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund, particularly for authorities which have not yet developed local walking and cycling investment plans.

 

Tranche 2 will fund temporary or permanent infrastructure schemes aimed at increasing walking and cycling levels and helping to shift people away from public transport given capacity constraints imposed by social distancing.

 

The tool provides an interactive map of the following:

  • road sections that have both high demand and sufficient space for cycling (blue lines)
  • existing off-road cycleways, which are often patchy (green)
  • a vision of what a joined-up cycle network could look like (purple).

The top ranked new cycleways represents the roads with the highest cycling potential which also have spare space being either wide or have two or more road lanes in one direction.

 

The team behind the tool said it restricted the analysis to focusing on roads with spare lanes since these have the capacity to accommodate new cycleways while maintaining two-way traffic. It states on the Cycling Infrastructure Prioritisation Toolkit (CyIPT) website: “New cycleways on these routes may therefore be faster to deliver than those requiring roads to be closed to traffic or introducing one-way systems.

The top ranked new cycleways represents the roads with the highest cycling potential which also have spare space being either wide or have two or more road lanes in one direction

“In addition, these are likely to represent the key arterial routes into town and city centres; hence new cycleways on these roads could result in large increases in cycling volumes.”

 

The tool also identifies what a “cohesive network” for cycling might look like if authorities consider a wider range of interventions such as closing roads to motorised traffic and creating one-way systems. Unlike the top ranked new cycleways layer, the cohesive network comprises all of the major high cycle potential corridors, including sections where the roads are narrower.

 

This layer was generated by joining up roads that have a high cycling potential on some or all their length. The cohesive network might help authorities considering area-wide interventions such as pedestrian and cycle zones or modal filters.

 

The research is based on open data and code and could be used in cities worldwide.

 

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