Birmingham A38 Blue Cycle Route
Birmingham A38 Blue Cycle Route

These are some of the key points in the new LTN 1/20 Cycle Infrastructure Design (‘CID’), and how it applies in Harrogate. You can read the full document here.


A Foreword (p3) by Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Minister with responsibility for cycling and walking, includes these points:

  • too much cycling infrastructure is substandard, provides little protection from motorised traffic, and gives up at the places it is most needed
  • cycling must no longer be treated as marginal or an afterthought. It must not be treated as part of the leisure industry but as a means of everyday transport. It must be placed at the heart of the transport network. (Full quote below)
  • it will be a condition of future government funding for cycle infrastructure that it is consistent with this guidance; that will be checked by Active Travel England. Otherwise funding will have to be returned
  • for other highways investment there will be a presumption that cycling infrastructure must be delivered or improved, unless it can be shown it is not necessary

Cycling must no longer be treated as marginal, or an afterthought. It must not be seen as mainly part of the leisure industry, but as a means of everyday transport. It must be placed at the heart of the transport network, with the capital spending, road space and traffic planners’ attention befitting that role.

foreword, cycle infrastructure design

1) Introduction

The guidance is designed to ensure high-quality cycle infrastructure delivers the ambition in the Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy to make cycling and walking the natural choices for short journeys, and to enable inclusive cycling (people of all ages and abilities).

Local authorities set design standards for their roads. This national guidance provides a recommended basis for those standards, with five overarching Core Design Principles and 22 Summary Principles (1.1.1).

To measure the quality of schemes, there are two tools (1.1.2):

  • the Cycling Level of Service (Appendix A), and
  • the Junction Assessment Tool (Appendix B)

Funding will only be awarded to schemes with a minimum score of 70% under the CLoS and no critical fails. Only schemes with no red-scored turning movements under the JAT will be funded.

To effectively apply the guidance, designers of cycle and walking schemes should have experience and training. Training could include the Highway Engineers’ Professional Certificate & Diploma in Active Travel (1.1.3).

Definitions (inclusive design)

The built environment should be accessible to all, including young people, older people, and disabled people. The concept of ‘inclusive design’ underpins the document…Design should begin with the principle that all potential cyclists and their machines should be catered for in all cycle infrastructure design.

para 1.4.1 cycle infrastructure design

Cycles includes all types of cycle including hand cycles (1.4.2). Types of cycle vehicle are described in Chapter 5 and shown in Figure 5.2.

Part of Figure 5.2, Cycle Infrastructure Design
Part of Figure 5.2, Cycle Infrastructure Design

Cyclists and pedestrians are considered to be ‘traffic’ within the meaning of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and Traffic Management Act 2004, and therefore a local authority’s duty to secure ‘expeditious and safe movement for all traffic’ applies to them as well as motorised modes (1.4.6).

Core Design Principles

These are the essential requirements to achieve more people travelling by cycle or on foot, based on UK and international best practice (1.5.1).

The five Core Design Principles state that cycle networks and routes should be: Coherent, Direct, Safe, Comfortable and Attractive.

Inclusive design and accessibility should run through all five of these Core Design Principles. Designers should always aim to provide infrastructure that meets these principles and therefore caters for the broadest range of people.

para. 1.5.3 cycle infrastructure design

Infrastructure must be accessible to all…The Equality Act 2010 requires public sector authorities to comply with their Public Sector Equality Duty…This includes making reasonable adjustments to the existing built environment to ensure the design of infrastructure is accessible to all (para. 1.5.4).

The Core Design Principles are represented in Figure 1.1 (p8), which has a ‘DO’ and a ‘DON’T’ image for each of the five principles.

Figure 1.1, Cycle Infrastructure Design
Figure 1.1, Cycle Infrastructure Design

Equally, examples for Harrogate District could be used as illustrations.


End of cycle route at Otley Road
End of Beckwith Head Road shared use pavement at Otley Road

Routes should allow people to reach their day-to-day destinations along routes that connect and are of a consistent high quality.

The ‘cycle infrastructure’ put in recently on Beckwith Head Road breaches this principle where it ends abruptly at the busy Otley Road. It also breaches the next Core Design Principle, as I explain below.


Rubbish cycle infrastructure, Beckwith Head Road
Stop-start shared use path, Beckwith Head Road

Cycle routes should be at least as direct as those for private motor vehicles. Routes involving extra distance or lots of stopping and starting are likely to be ignored, and people will choose to ride on the main carriageway instead. The ‘DON’T’ image in CID shows a cycle track giving way at each side road.

The photo above shows and example of just that in Harrogate, on Beckwith Head Road. (It also breaches the principles of CID because it is a shared use path in an urban area). Another example of a cycle track giving way to every side road is Jennyfield Drive.


Oatlands Drive cycle lane
Dangerous narrow painted advisory cycle lanes on Oatlands Drive

The photo above shows an example of a bike lane on Oatlands Drive, Harrogate, that is totally unacceptable from a safey point of view. It’s a painted cycle lane with no physical protection from traffic on a busy road in a town. The width of the cycle lane is also lower than the Absolute Minimum.


East Parade bike lane
East Parade bike lane gives way to a bin

Good quality, well-maintained surfaces are required, with adequate width for the volume of users. The ‘DON’T’ image shows an uncomfortable transition between on- and off-carriageway facilites. An example of this is Harrogate is on East Parade, which swaps between a dangerous painted lane on the road and a poorly-surfaced, inconvenient pavement path that gives way to a rubbish bin.


Cycle infrastructure should be finished in attractive materials, and thus help deliver public spaces that people want to spend time using. How does the East Parade bike lane measure up to that? Very poorly.

There is more on the five Core Design Principles in para. 4.2, p30.

Summary Principles

The 22 Summary Principles are an integral part of the guidance. They are:

  1. Cycle infrastructure should be accessible to everyone from 8 to 80 including those with a disability; and it should not create hazards for vulnerable pedestrians.
  2. Cycles must be treated as vehicles not as pedestrians. On urban streets they should not share space with pedestrians. Distinct tracks for cyclists should be made. Shared use routes away from streets may be appropriate, for example in parks.
  3. Cyclists must be physically separated and protected from high volume motor traffic. It can be full kerb segregation or light segregation, or by using bollards or planters to close roads to through motor traffic. Cycle routes indicated only with road markings will be perceived to be unacceptable for safe cycling.
  4. Side street routes that are closed to through traffic can be an alternative to segregated facilities, or there can be a mix of the two. N.B. routes that are not direct or see significant volumes of rat-running traffic will not be used and should not be provided.
  5. Design for significant numbers of cyclists – thousands a day – and non-standard cycles including cargo bikes. To allow overtaking, cycle tracks should be 2m, or 3-4m for bidrectional tracks.
  6. There is a presumption that any future highway schemes will deliver or improve cycling infrastructure to the standards in CID.
  7. Largely cosmetic interventions (nicer-looking pavements or road surfaces), where little or nothing is done to restrict through traffic or provide safe space for cycling, will not be funded from any cycling or walking budget.
  8. Cycle infrastructure must be planned as a holistic network, recognising the importance of nodes, links and areas that are good for cycling. Isolated stretches of provision are of little value. It is important to understand who currently cycles, where they go and why, and more importantly who does not currently cycle and why.
  9. Cycle parking should be included in substantial schemes, and should be sufficient to allow cycle commuting and a range of cycles.
  10. Schemes must be legible and understandable. Cyclists, pedestrians and motorists must be in no doubt where the cycle route runs.
  11. Schemes must be clearly signposted and users should feel like they are being guided along a route. Signs should be easily visible.
  12. Showpiece structures must be part of a wider, properly thought-through scheme.
  13. Maintenance and sweeping: route proposals should always include a clear programme of maintenance.
  14. Surfaces should be hard, smooth, level, durable, permeable and safe in all weathers. Asphalt and other materials highlighed in Chapter 15 are suitable.
  15. Trials with temporary materials are recommended if there is a dispute about the impact of a road change, but ‘it is important that the scheme is designed correctly at the beginning, to maximise the chances of it working.’
  16. Chicane barriers and dismount signs should not be used.
  17. Bollards to prevent through traffic are quick, cheap and effective.
  18. Cycle routes must flow in a direct and logical way. Users should not have to double back on themselves, turn unnecessarily or go the long way round. Schemes should be based on how people actually behave rather than how they might be expected to behave.
  19. Schemes must be easy and comfortable to ride. Cycling is a physical effort, and schemes should not impose constant stopping and starting.
  20. All designers of cycle schemes must experience the roads as a cyclist. Those who design schemes should travel through the area on a cycle to understand how it feels.
  21. Schemes must be consistent. Avoid inconsistent provision such as a track going from the road to the pavement and then back on to the road, or a track that suddenly vanishes.
  22. When to break these principles. ‘In rare cases, where it is absolutely unavoidable, a short stretch of less good provision rather than jettison an entire route which is otherwise good will be appropriate. But in most cases it is not absolutely unavoidable and exceptions will be rare.’ (So this is not an excuse for nearly every bit of cycle infrastructure in a local authority area to breach the principles).

Making the case for change

There’s a very good passage about engagement with the people affected by a scheme (p14).

Before any specific proposal is put forward, the ground must be carefully prepared, with the public persuaded of the need for change and attractive alternative to the status quo laid out…Articulate a clear vision of what you want a place to look like. Work out every technical aspect of a proposal thoroughly and in detail before you present it, to anticipate and pre-empt likely objections, and get it as right as possible at the beginning. When communicating the proposals be confident about it and absolutely clear about your intentions, the benefits and disadvantages. Proposals must be clear and unambiguous, as detailed as possible…and frank about the disadvantages, to build trust and discourage misrepresentation.

p14, Cycle infrastructure design

2) Cycling in context

Cycle Infrastructure Design, Fig 2.1
Cycle Infrastructure Design, Fig 2.1

This section starts on p15. It points out that utility and leisure cycling facilities and services in the UK are at an early stage of development compared to many other countries (2.2.1). The potential for cycling, given that 2 out of 3 personal trips are less than five miles, and three quarters of school children live within a 15-minute cycle ride of a secondary school (para. 2.2.2, p16).

Cycling brings economic benefits, reduces congestion and pollution, improves physical and mental health, and can help revive high streets and town centres.

CID points out (paras. 2.4.1 onwards) that there is a duty on public sector authorities under the Equality Act 2010 to make sure that infrastructure is accessible to people of all ages and abilities; this includes making reasonable adjustments to the existing built environment to ensure the design of new infrastructure is accessible to all. Conventional or adapted cycles are important to people with a disability as a mode of independent transport.

The role of cycling as an aid to mobility is often overlooked. It can help many people to travel independently, but only if the infrastructure is accessible to a range of cycles used by people with children and disabled people.

para 2.4.3 cycle infrastructure design

3) Planning for cycling

Cycle route signs on Slingsby Walk

Chapter 3 (from p21) describes the concept of a connected network with nodes (junctions, origins and destinations) and links. It says that developing a network plan provides a sound basis for funding applications.

Routes should be suitable for all abilities. There shouldn’t be more than 250m to 1km between routes, so that all people can easily travel by bike within and between neighbourhoods. There should also be longer distance routes for leisure, tourism and utility cycling.

Para. 3.1.5 sets out a six-stage process for developing a Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP). The stages are:

  1. Determining Scope (including geographical extent)
  2. Information Gathering
  3. Network Planning for Cycling – identify origins, destinations and cycle flows; convert into a network of routes and determine the types of improvements required
  4. Network Planning for Walking
  5. Prioritising Improvements – a phased plan for future investment
  6. Integration and Application

WSP’s Harrogate LCWIP

Consultants WSP were commissioned to produce a Phase 1 Harrogate Cycle Infrastructure Plan in 2017, and it was delivered and approved in Summer 2019. It covers stages 1 & 2, and part of stage 3 network planning: it identifies corridors in a general way, but the key parts missing are the specifics – actual routes.

I don’t know when their Phase 2 report is due. I am concerned that commissioning these reports is a way of spending several years looking as though you’re doing something, but with no tangible benefits for people who want to get around Harrogate by bike.

Network planning

CWIS focuses on getting people to make short, local journeys on foot or by bike instead of by car, so this should be a focus of network planning. It means you have to analyse existing trip patterns. The Propensity to Cycle Tool helps do this.

Para. 3.3 deals with stakeholder participation, and details who to consult and how to consult them.

Para 3.4 details the components of a local network:

  • Dedicated space for cycling within highways
  • Quiet mixed traffic streets
  • Motor traffic-free routes
  • Junction treatments and crossings
  • Cycle parking

It also sets out four functions of cycle routes:

  • Primary routes – between major trip generators
  • Secondary routes – connections into local centres
  • Local access to streets and attractors
  • Long distance and leisure routes

Network planning techniques are covered in para. 3.5:

  • Mesh density can be used to analyse coverage of cycle routes and identify gaps; in built-up areas, spacing of routes should be 250-400m
  • The local network includes quiet streets where on-carriageway cycling is acceptable, or which are suitable for independent travel by a 12-year-old; then you can identify which streets need treatment to enable cycling
  • Trials with temporary materials can be used to get an understanding of impacts, but tell local communities well in advance and allow long enough for a scheme to settle down; monitor behaviour before and during the trial period, and after final scheme implementation

4) Design principles and processes

Sainsburys Junction, Wetherby Road, Harrogate
Sainsburys Junction, Wetherby Road, Harrogate

Chapter 4 starts on p29, and it looks at some of the basic ideas that underpin the design process for cycle route networks.

More about the Core Design Principles

It repeats and expands upon the five Core Design Principles (para. 4.2, p30). Some of the issues rasied are:

  • Coherent: people should be able to reach their destinations along routes that connect, are simple to navigate, and of a consistent high quality. Abrupt reductions in the quality of provision will mean that an otherwise serviceable route becomes unusable by most potential users. An example in Harrogate is the Sainsbury’s junction on Wetherby Road. Provision on main roads is crucial because they are often the only direct, coherent routes available
  • Direct: routes should provide the shortest and fastest way of travelling from place to place, and include facilities at junctions that minimise the need to stop. Allowing cyclists to maintain momentum, and thereby minimising the effort required to cycle, is an important aspect of directness; cycling becomes more attractive if you permit movements which are prohibited to motor traffic, for example with contraflow lanes and filtered permeability. One example of this in Harrogate is at the end of Beech Grove, where cyclists can go straight on (to Victoria Avenue) but motor traffic must turn left
  • Safe: cycle infrastructure must be not only safe but perceived to be safe. This can be achieved in various ways including filtered permeability, but on busy strategic roads dedicated, protected sapce for cycling must be provided (which may involve reallocating existing road space
  • Comfortable: this includes good quality surfaces and adequate width. ‘Cycling is a sociable activity and many people will want to cycle side by side, and to overtake another cyclist safely.’
  • Attractive: the attractiveness of the route will affect whether users choose cycling as a means of transport
Beech Grove cycle lights
Beech Grove to Victoria Avenue cycle lights – a good bit of design for bikes

Minimising effort to cycle

Para. 4.3 deals with the effort required to cycle, and states: ‘Minimising effort should be a key consideration in the design of any infrastructure.’

Protection from motor traffic

Para. 4.4 is about protection from motor traffic.

Motor traffic is the main deterrent to cycling for many people with 62% of UK adults feeling that the roads are too unsafe for them to cycle on…The need to provide protected space for cycling on highways generally depends on the speed and volume of motor traffic. For example, in quiet residential streets, most people will be comfortable cycling on the carriageway even though they will be passed by the occasional car moving at low speeds. On busier and faster highways, most people will not be prepared to cycle on the carriageway, so they will not cycle at all, or some may unlawfully use the footway.

para. 4.4.1, cycle infrastructure design

Figure 4.1 has a useful (but not entirely straightforward) graphic showing appropriate protection from motor traffic, depending on the speed limit and motor traffic flow.

Cycle Infrastructure Design, Figure 4.1
Cycle Infrastructure Design, Figure 4.1

Where there are cycle tracks or light segregation, kerbside access for parking and delivery has to be addressed in the design (4.4.6). Protection is needed at junctions as well as on links, to create a coherent and safe route.

Assessment tools

Two assessment tools have already been mentioned – Cycling Level of Service and Junction Assessment Tool. Road safety audits are only concerned with safety, not the other four Core Design Principles, and care should be taken that a safety modification doesn’t reduce the usability of a route in terms of the other principles.

An Access Audit should be undertaken to make sure a scheme meets the needs of those with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.

5) Geometric requirements

Chapter 5 starts on p39 and describes the dimensions required to accommodate cyclists on a variety of cycles and travelling at their desired speeds.

Table 5-2 (p43) specifies the appropriate widths for cycle lanes and tracks.

Table 5-2, Cycle Infrastructure Design
Table 5-2, Cycle Infrastructure Design

Table 5-3 states the extra widths needed where a cycle track runs next to a fixed object – 20cm from a kerb and 50cm from a wall.

Para. 5.5.3 specifies that ‘separate facilities should be provided for pedestrian and cycle movements’. Shared use might be adequate ‘away from the highway, and alongside busy interurban roads with few pedestrians or building frontages…Conversion of existing footways to shared use should only be considered when options that reuse carriageway or other (e.g. verge) space have been rejected as unworkable.’

There are quite a few examples of shared use pavements in Harrogate that are ignored by people on bikes – including on Penny Pot Lane before and after the Jubilee Roundabout, and on Harlow Moor Road.

Harlow Moor Road
Harlow Moor Road

Rural shared use facilities where there are few pedestrians should be designed as cycle tracks which pedestrians may lawfully use (para. 5.6.1).

Design speed should be 30kmh, and 40kmh where there are downhill gradients (Table 5-4).

Deliberately restricting space, introducing staggered barriers or blind bends to slow cyclists is likely to increase the potential for user conflict and may prevent access for larger cycles and disabled people and so should not be used.

para 5.6.3 cycle infrastructure design

Chapter 5 also contains technical information about stopping sight distance (para. 5.7), visibility splays (5.8), horizontal and vertical alignment (5.9), crossfall and camber (5.10), and edge protection (5.11).

6) Space for cycling within highways

Chapter 6 begins on p49 and deals with faster and busier roads. It states that on such roads, dedicated space for cycling will be needed, and facilities with physical protection are preferable to cycle lanes. It may be necessary to reallocate space from moving and/or parked motor vehicles to allow good quality cycle facilities to be installed.


The Introduction makes some general points about provision for cycling on busy roads, including the following:

  • Busier major roads are usually the most direct routes between key attractors (6.1.2)
  • Protected space is usually required to create inclusive cycling conditions, and can be fully kerbed cycle tracks, stepped cycle tracks, or light segregation (6.1.4)
  • Stepped cycle tracks and light segregation are generally considered less suitable for urban highways with speed limits above 30mph (6.1.5)
  • Cycle lanes on busy or fast roads without physical protection from motor vehicles will be perceived as unacceptable for safe cycling (6.1.6)
  • Light segregation adds some protection and can be installed quite cheaply; do not use it on pedestrian desire lines because it may be a trip hazard (6.1.7)
  • Wherever possible, space should be reallocated from the carriageway, not reducing the level of service for pedestrians; only very wide or lightly-used footways should be considered for use by cyclists (6.1.9)
  • Space can be taken from the carriageway by reducing the number of lanes or the width of the carriageway (down to 3m)
  • Standard traffic modelling software can be used to assess the effect of reducing the number of lanes and width of carriageway; trials can give a real-world indication of the effects of road space reallocation and to stimulate feedback

On-highway cycle tracks

Para. 6.2 (from p51) deals with fully kerbed and stepped cycle tracks. Kerbed tracks are protected from motor traffic by a full-height kerb and buffer space; stepped tracks are lower than footway level, and have a lower kerb in relation to the carriageway.

Fully kerbed cycle tracks

They are created by taking space from the carriageway by creating a kerbed buffer strip. They can be at carriageway level, footway level, or an intermediate level.

Carriageway-level cycle track with kerbs and buffer strip
Carriageway-level cycle track with kerbs and buffer strip

Cycle tracks should be clearly distinguishable from the footway, with colour and tonal contrast; a level difference is preferred by visually-impaired people.

Buffer strips can contribute to the streetscape and drainage if planted. A buffer strip with a hard surface provides a place for pedestrians to wait to cross; 1.5m is enough for wheelchairs and mobility scooters (6.2.10).

A buffer or verge protects cyclists from air turbulence from passing traffic and debris from the carriageway (6.2.11). Minimum recommended separation widths are given in Table 6-1.

Table 6-1, Cycle Infrastructure Design
Table 6-1, Cycle Infrastructure Design

Wider buffer strips can accommodate a bus stop as part of a bus stop bypass; they can be used for kerbside loading and car parking area in which case there must be enough buffer space to open a car door and get out of it (6.2.12).

Provision (e.g. dropped kerbs) must be made for mobility impaired people to cross the tracks.

Two-way and one way tracks

One way tracks either side of the road with cyclists travelling in the same direction as other traffic is often the best solution (paras. 6.2.15 & 6.2.17)

Two-way tracks can be on one side of the road only, or both sides of a major highway that is difficult for cyclists to cross. Potential problems with two-way tracks (para. 6.2.16):

  • transitioning between the cycle track and the carriageway
  • complicated arrangements at junctions along the route
  • more risks with retaining priority over side roads
  • harder to get to the other side of the major highway
  • harder for pedestrians to cross a two-way cycle track
  • problem of being dazzled by headlights

Still, there are space advantages to a 3m two-way track as opposed to two 2m one way tracks (para. 6.2.18). They can also be useful where there is more kerbside activity on one side of the road than the other. Advantages and disadvantages of two-way tracks are set out in Table 6-2.

One way fully kerbed cycle tracks may be used in the contraflow direction to general traffic (para. 6.2.23).

Stepped cycle tracks

Height difference should be a minimum of 50mm (from carriageway and from footway). Normally one way in the same direction as traffic.

They provide physical protection from traffic in a space-efficient way. They allow cyclists priority at side rods, for exmple as part of a raised entry treatment (para. 6.2.26).

Pedestrian crossings, tactile paving and traffic signing

Pedestrian crossing of cycle track
Pedestrian crossing of cycle track

Pedestrian crossings of cycle tracks are dealt with from para. 6.2.29 on; tactile paving from para. 6.2.33; and traffic signing from para. 6.2.38.

Servicing and car parking alongside cycle tracks

Cycle track between kerb and parking
Cycle track between kerb and parking

A cycle track between parked cars and the footway provides a much higher level of service (safety and comfort) than a cycle lane on the offside of parking/loading areas (para. 6.2.40). There should be a buffer zone of at least 0.5m between cyclists and parked vehicles to reduce the risk of ‘dooring’. A width of 2m is needed alongside disabled parking bays (6.2.42).

There are provisions for detailed design and maintenance in paras. 6.2.44-48.

Light segregation

This is covered in para. 6.3. Light segregation is intermittent physical features such as traffic wands placed along the inside of a mandatory cycle lane. Planters could also be used. It is quite low cost. No special authorisation is needed.

It can be used as a temporary feature to prove the case for a more permanent solution such as a fully kerbed track.

Cycle lanes

These are painted lanes – mandatory and advisory.

Cycle lanes less than 1.5m wide should not normally be used as they will exclude the use of the facility by larger cycles and are therefore not inclusive. They can also encourage ‘close-passing’ of cyclists by motorists, who tend to judge their road position with reference to the nearside marking.

para. 6.4.3, cycle infrastructure design

Note that cycle lane markings can’t be used with zig-zag markings at controlled crossings, but the zig-zag markings can be placed up to 2m from the kerb (para. 6.4.4/Figure 6.19).

Advisory lanes are not recommended where they are likely to be blocked by parked vehicles (para. 6.4.9).

Cycle lanes at side roads

Beckwith Head Road shared use pavement fails to provide continuity for cyclists at side roads
Beckwith Head Road shared use pavement fails to provide continuity for cyclists at side roads

Cycle lanes across side road junctions ensure continuity and help improve cycle safety. Mandatory lanes become advisory at the junction mouth. Coloured surfacing may also be used, and the width of the cycle lane can be increased; raised tables can be added across the mouth of the side road.

Removal of centre lines

No centre line
No centre line

This can enable proper width cycle lanes to be added, and it has a psychological traffic-calming effect. It is only suitable for quieter roads.

Parking & loading restrictions, and contraflow cycle lanes

Cycle lanes should be combined with parking and loading restrictions (para. 6.4.18).

There should be a presumption in favour of cycling in both directions on one way streets. Contraflow lanes should be mandatory and the entrance to the street protected by an island. The lane can be made more conspicuous with coloured surfacing.

The end of a cycle lane, cycle track or route should not normally be marked by the END marking as the end of the facility should be obvious. Give way markings…should be avoided at the end of a cycle lane – alternative designs should be considered.

para. 6.4.25, cycle infrastructure design

Shared use

Shared use pavement, Beckwith Head Road
Shared use pavement on Beckwith Head Road being ignored

Shared use means a footway for both pedestrians and cyclists, and is covered in para. 6.5. White line segregation is not recommended; this section refers to unsegregated paths.

In urban areas, the conversion of a footway to shared use should be regarded as a last resort. Shared use facilities are generally not favoured by either pedestrians or cyclists, particularly when flows are high. It can create particular difficulties for visually impaired people.

para. 6.5.4, cycle infrastructure design

Para. 6.5.6 outlines situations where shared use that’s well-designed and implemented may be appropriate:

  • alongside interurban and arterial roads where there are few pedestrians
  • at and around junctions where cyclists are moving slowly
  • where a length of shared use may be acceptable to achieve continuity of a cycle route
  • where high cycle and pedestrian flows occur at different times

Table 6-3 has recommended minimum widths for shared use routes.

Table 6-3, Cycle Infrastucture Design
Table 6-3, Cycle Infrastucture Design

Designers should be realistic about cyclists wanting to make progress, and overtake groups of pedestrians and slower cyclists (6.5.8).

Research shows that cyclists alter their behaviour according to the density of pedestrians, so it should rarely be necessary to provide physical calming features (6.5.9).

Cycling on bus and tram routes

Bus lanes can offer some degree of segregation for cyclists as they reduce interaction with motor traffic (para. 6.6.1), but they don’t provide an environment attractive to a wide range of people so should not be regarded as inclusive. If taxis and motorcycles are allowed to use them this significantly increases traffic flows and acts as a deterrent to cycling.

Where cyclists are using bus lanes they should be at least 4m wide and preferably 4.5m, so buses can pass cyclists.

Bus stop bypasses take cycle tracks around the rear of bus stops. Design principles are set out in paras. 6.6.8-11. An alternative design is called a ‘bus stop boarder’.

Tram tracks can be dangerous to cyclists, and suitable routes and space for cycling should be provided away from the tracks.

Coloured surfacing

Coloured surfaces have no legal meaning, but can be useful to highlight the presence and delineation of a cycle route. They can be useful across the mouths of junctions, through complex junctions, alongside on-street car parking, and at advanced stop zones.

7) Quiet mixed traffic streets and lanes

Chapter 7 starts on p73, and deals with streets where the main function is access to local properties, and rural lanes where traffic flows are light.


Cycling on-carriageway is possible where speeds are low and traffic flows light. Upper limits for inclusive cycling (para. 7.1.1):

  • 2,500 vehicles per day
  • 20mph

Traffic calming and management can be used; crossings and junction treatments for cyclists at major roads to connect local networks of quiet streets. An important element is removal of non-local through traffic through ‘mode filtering’, which reinforces the primary function of local access.

Area-wide treatments such as Liveable Neighbourhood and Mini-Holland schemes can be trialled with temporary modal filters. Trials should last for a few weeks to give the scheme time to settle, and during this time actual behaviours and impacts should be monitored accurately.

Spatial considerations

Primary and secondary riding positions

In normal traffic conditions, cyclists are advised to ride in secondary position, 0.5m from the kerb.

Where it is unlikely a motorist could overtake safely (narrower roads, approaches to side roads), they are advised to ride in primary position, in the centre of the traffic lane. This enables the motorist to appreciate that it will be necessary to wait behind until there is enough space.

Many people (especially children) will only be comfortable adopting primary position where speed and volume of traffic is very low. Car drivers are more likely to accept short delays on quiet streets where they are not perceived to be delaying other motor traffic (7.2.2). Mixed traffic streets should aim to offer conditions where most people would feel confident to ride in primary position (7.2.3).

Table 7.1 shows minimum overtaking clearances.

Table 7-1 Cycle Infrastructure Design
Table 7-1 Cycle Infrastructure Design

Close over taking can be intimidating and hazardous to cyclists in free-flowing traffic. Only at speeds lower than 30mph might a minimum clearance of 1.0m be acceptable. No values are given for speed limits greater than 30mph because cyclists should be provided with protected space away from motor traffic.

para. 7.2.4 cycle infrastructure design

Carriageway and lane widths

This section deals with traffic lane widths, and is quite technical.

Table 7-2 sets out minimum widths for a car lane and a bus lane, assuming traffic is free to cross the centre line; and a 2-way traffic lane with no centre line (between advisory cycle lanes). Table 7-3 has widths for bus lanes shared with cyclists, buffer zones, car parking bays, disabled car parking bays, and loading bays.

Pinch points: they should be designed so that cyclists are not squeezed or intimidated by motor vehicles trying to overtake. Options:

  • provide a cycle bypass
  • give a lane width of more than 3.9m (lanes between 3.2 and 3.9m lead to close passes)
  • restrict width to prevent overtaking – but this will not be desirable over long lengths as cyclists will feel intimidated by vehicles waiting to overtake (7.2.10)

Reducing use by motor traffic

Traffic flow can be reduced to enable cycling in mixed streets through a range of measures involving area-wide treatments, with enhancements to the appearance of key streets.

Encouraging through traffic to use main roads can provide benefits for pedestrians and residents, particularly children and vulnerable adults, as well as enabling cycling.

para. 7.3.1 cycle infrastructure design

Traffic management measures to reduce motor traffic (7.3.2):

  • Mode filtering through TRO exemptions
  • Vehicle restricted areas (including HGV bans)
  • Bus gates and other modal filters
  • Turning bans (with exemptions for cyclists)
  • One way streets (with two-way cycle access)
  • Time-based restrictions to access or kerbside parking

Mode filtering through TRO exemptions

An assessment should be undertaken as to whether cyclists can be safely exempted from turning bans, no entry and one way restrictions. Permitting contraflow cycling on one way streets and using point closures to close certain streets to through traffic will provide a more direct route for cyclists and should always be considered. On quiet low speed streets there may be no need for a cycle lane.

Para. 7.3.5 has a list of carriageway widths suitable for contraflow cycling, which vary according to whether parking is permitted one side, both sides, or not at all.

Figure 7.4, Cycle Infrastructure Design
Figure 7.4, Cycle Infrastructure Design

Traffic reduction through control of car parking

Charges for car parking or limited capacity or duration of stay can reduce car traffic in central and other urban areas. Removal of on-street car parking spaces may enable space to be provided to pedestrians and cyclists (7.3.6).

Vehicle Restricted Areas (VRAs)

You can have Pedestrian Zones or Pedestrian and Cycle Zones. If you exclude cyclists from high streets they may have to travel longer distances on heavily trafficked roads and this may suppress cycle trips, so there should always be a preference for allowing cyclists access to VRAs.

Home Zones, Quiet Lanes and other mixed use streets

Residential access streets can be designed with geometrical layouts that create very low speed environments. Such streets can be designated as Home Zones under the Home Zones and Quiet Lanes (England) Regulations 2006.

Quiet Lane designation is for rural lanes where actual speeds are under 40mph and motor traffic volumes less than 1,000 per day. The intention is to indicate to road users that the whole surface of the lane is likely to be used by pedestrians, equestrians and cyclists.

Service roads along major highways can provide cycle routes as long as they meet the basic criteria for traffic volume and speed and there is good continuity.

Reducing motor traffic speed

20mph is being more widely adopted as an appropriate speed limit for access roads and many through streets in built-up areas, with 30mph limits retained on locally strategic roads. However, changes to the speed limit will have a limited impact unless there is enforcement or physical measures that make it difficult to drive above the speed limit. Gateway features can be used to visually reinforce changes to speed limits at entry points to villages and high streets.

para. 7.6.1 cycle infrastructure design

Physical traffic calming measures can be horizontal (road narrowing or chicanes) or vertical (speed humps, speed tables and speed cushions). Cycle bypasses should be provided alongside horizontal measures such as chicanes and narrowings (7.6.4). The gap should be at least 1.5m. Speed cushions are not a preferred form of traffic calming on cycle routes because they constrain the ability of cyclists to choose their preferred position in the carriageway. (They work quite well on Claro Road, though, where vehicles tend to move right out to line up with cushions when overtaking).

Textured surfaces and block paving should be used sparingly because they create high levels of discomfort.

Tight kerb radii at side roads, combined with raised tables across the junction mouth, help reduce speed and have significant safety benefits.

Kerbside activity

Kerbside parking or loading can be a hazard for cyclists because of the risk of being ‘doored’. Raised inset bays (parking bays at pavement level) can be helpful, and offer pedestrians extra space when not in use.

8) Motor traffic free routes

Chapter 8 starts on p83 and says that traffic-free routes can form important links for everyday trips.


These routes include disused railways, parks and canal towpaths. They should be integrated with the wider network, with clear signing. How to achieve a good level of social safety should be part of the design process.

For year-round utility cycling, a sealed surface is necessary and street lighting should be provided.

Managing user conflict

There are few recorded collisions between pedestrians and cyclists, but two user groups travelling at different speeds can affect the comfort of both. Provide sufficient width for anticipated levels of use.

Where space and budget allows, provide separate routes for walking and cycling, separated by a grass verge or hedge (8.2.3). Where there’s not enough space, separate walking and cycling paths with a level difference (60mm+) and/or different surface texture (8.2.4), or with a raised strip that is trapezoidal in cross section (8.2.5).

A fully shared surface is better when the available width is 3m or less (8.2.8).

If it is necessary to encourage cyclists to slow, speed humps or rumble strips can be used, but they introduce hazard and discomfort for disabled path users so should be employed sparingly (8.2.11-12).

Access controls

Access controls can reduce the usability of a route by all cyclists, and may exclude some disabled people and others riding nonstandard cycles. There should therefore be a general presumption against the use of access controls unless there is a persistent and significant problem of antisocial moped or motorcycle access that cannot be controlled through periodic policing.

para. 8.3.1 cycle infrastructure design

Access controls that require the cyclist to dismount or cannot accommodate the cycle design vehicle are not inclusive and should not be used (8.3.2). Access controls should not be required simply to control cyclists on the approach to a road or footway crossing (8.3.3).

Chicane barriers exclude tandems, tricycles, cargo bikes and some wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Barriers with plates designed to be narrower than motorcycle handlebars leave a gap that is narrower than many larger cycles (8.3.4).

An alternative is to be provide bollards at a minimum of 1.5m spacing (8.3.5). To control livestock, a cattle grid with closely-spaced bars is better than a gate (8.3.7).

Junctions on cycle tracks off-highway

Advice about give way markings and priority.

Appropriate surface materials

Surface quality affects comfort and effort needed. Gravel or mud make cycling more difficult, and ruts and potholes can throw cyclists off balance.

Smooth, sealed solid surfaces, such asphalt or macadam, offer the best conditions for everyday cycling. Cycle routes within the highway should meet at least local minimum standards of construction. Routes away from the highway should also be smooth and well-maintained to ensure they play a useful role in the cycle network.

para. 8.5.2 cycle infrastructure design

Sealed surfaces should normally be provided within towns, cities and villages and on utility routes from the immediate hinterland. This might include rural cycle routes between villages, for example where pupils might be expected to travel to school (8.5.4).

Crushed stone is cheaper but needs more maintenance to avoid becoming uneven and muddy, and will be unusable by wheelchair and anyone on smaller wheeled cycles including children. ‘Where there is a need to avoid the use of black asphalt, consideration should also be given to other forms of sealed surface such as resin-bound stone (8.5.5).

Construction details

Proper construction of each element is required: formation and sub-base, surfaces, edges and verges, ecology, drainage and lighting, fencing etc. (8.6.1). Sustrans has more details.


Considerations about lighting in urban areas.


Litter and broken glass should be included in routine cleaning. Fallen leaves should be cleared; a route that is part of the local cycle network should be prioritised for snow and ice clearance.

9) Transitions between carriageways, cycle lanes and cycle tracks

Chapter 9 starts on p89 and covers transitions between on- and off-carriageway provision, including protection from motor traffic and creation of a Comfortable and Coherent route.


A transition is where a cycle track joins the carriageway or vice versa. Cyclists can be at risk from motor traffic, and there can be conflict between pedestrians and cyclists, but attention to design detail will improve safety and create a welcoming environment.

Cycle track to carriageway transitions

Where a cycle track merges back to the carriageway, the merge should be designed to reduce the risk of cyclists being hit by traffic from behind. If a footway/cycle track is on a level or shared surface, tactile ladder and tramline paving is essential.

Carriageway to cycle track transitions

Avoid putting kerbs or sharp turns on transitions because it could cause cyclists to lose control.

Para. 9.3.4 deals with the so-called ‘jug handle’, where cyclists leave the carriageway to access a crossing facility. There is a ridiculous example of a jug handle at the new roundabout by the Dunlopillo housing development, Pannal – where cyclists are asked to leave the carriageway to access a crossing non-facility.

Separated cycle track to shared use with pedestrians

Cycle tracks can merge into shared use areas where width is restricted near bus stops or toucan crossings. Tactile paving helps the visually impaired in such situations.

10) Junctions and crossings

Chapter 10 starts on p95. It is quite long and technical, and very important to cycle safety.

It is essential that the needs of cyclists are taken into account in the design of all new and improved junctions, not just those on designated cycle routes, and that crossings are provided where cycle routes continue across busy highways. Safety is vital, but junctions and crossings should also enable cyclists to negotiate them in comfort without undue delay or deviation…At quieter junctions it may be safe to integrate cyclists into the general traffic streams to reduce the number of conflicts but at busier junctions it will be necessary to separate and protect cycle movements. The Junction Assessment Tool (Appendix B) should be used to assess how well junctions meet cyclists’ needs.

preamble to chapter 10 cycle infrastructure design


Providing separation between conflicting streams of traffic (including pedestrian and cycle traffic) is fundamental to improving safety.

Network planning considerations

The impact of major junctions should be considered at a network level with regard to the movement of people and goods. Moving high volumes of pedestrian and cycle traffic through a junction may be a more efficient use of the available space than moving high volumes of motor traffic. ‘Improving provision for cycling at an existing major junction may require funding, and may cause some increase in delays to other users, but it can be the key to opening areas and routes to cycling.’

Design principles and processes

Core Design Principles

Junctions and crossings should be designed with features to enable inclusive cycling.

para. 10.3.1 cycle infrastructure design

Junctions are the locations of the most actual and perceived hazards, and if a junction doesn’t provide safe facilities it may be the reason people won’t use the rest of the route (10.3.1).

New junctions should be designed to provide good conditions for cycling in all permitted directions, regardless of whether they are on a designated route…The provision of inclusive cycle facilities should be prioritised at existing junctions where there is a high level of existing demand and/or suppressed demand for cycling, or a poor casualty record.

para. 10.3.2 cycle infrastructure design

The five Core Design Principles should be addressed at junctions (Table 10-1), and the Junction Assessment Tool (JAT) in Appendix B used to examine all potential movements at a junction.

Table 10-1, Cycle Infrastructure Design
Table 10-1, Cycle Infrastructure Design

Design approaches – junctions

There are two approaches (10.3.5):

  • Separating cycle and motor traffic streams
  • Integrating cycle and motor traffic streams

Separating streams will be appropriate at junctions on major roads when protected space for cycling is provided on links; integrating will apply when motor traffic speeds and flows are low enough for mixed traffic (see Chapter 7). The two approaches can be combined where appropriate.

Designers should ensure that the space provided for cycling at junctions can accommodate the cycle design vehicle so all types of user can negotiate the junction – especially critical where cycling is separated from motor vehicles (10.3.10). Cyclists should preferably be kept separate from pedestrians through junctions (10.3.11).

Junction capacity modelling

There’s technical information about cycle capacity modelling, including timing of green phases for cyclists, in paras. 10.3.12-17.

Cycle crossings


Cycle crossings enable cyclists to cross a carriageway that would otherwise form a hazardous or impenetrable barrier on the cycle route network. They can be divided into:

  • Uncontrolled crossings (with or without refuge)
  • Controlled crossings (cycle priority using give way markings, parallel crossing, or signal controlled)

Table 10-2 indicates the suitability of each type of crossing, depending on the speed and volume of traffic and the number of lanes to be crossed in one movement.

Table 10-2, Cycle Infrastructure Design
Table 10-2, Cycle Infrastructure Design

Table 10-2 is a guide only. In many situations, reducing the speed of the motor traffic using the carriageway will enable additional design options to be considered (10.4.5).

Cycle crossings can be placed on raised tables (10.4.6). Refuges can be used to divide the crossing into stages; they should be at least 3m long, and accommodate the cycle design vehicle, mobility scooters, and the expected number of people (10.4.7).

Uncontrolled crossings

They may be acceptable for a lightly trafficked two-way carriageway, but at higher speeds and traffic volumes uncontrolled crossing won’t meet the needs of all users.

Cycle priority crossings

These can be used where a cycle route crosses a lightly trafficked street, optionally on a road hump.

Figure 10.6, Cycle Infrastructure Design
Figure 10.6, Cycle Infrastructure Design

Parallel crossings

A separate parallel cycle crossing alongside a zebra. More demand responsive and lower cost. Can be used on links and on the arms of priority-controlled and roundabout junctions. Yellow globes must be used; together with zig-zag markings they enhance visibility to drivers, so parallel crossings can be used at sites with higher traffic flows and speeds. They can be divided by a central refuge.

Toucan crossings

These are signal-controlled crossings shared between pedestrians and cyclists. They should be provided for a shared use path. Refuges can be problematic, especially for non-standard cycles. At pedestrian refuges, guardrailing should not be installed as the default choice.

Where it is necessary to stagger pedestrian crossing, a separate single stage crossing for cyclists should be provided (10.4.20).

Signal controlled cycle facility

Signal-controlled cycle facility where a cycle track crosses a road or an arm of a junction. It should operate as a single stage without a refuge in the middle. The design should make it clear it is separate from any pedestrian crossing.

Signal timing for cyclists

Minimum 7s green, but longer where cycle flows are high. There are two tables without technical details for calculations, including how an uphill gradient affects cyclists’ speeds and ability to move off.

Priority junctions

This section relates to priority or give-way junctions.

Mixed traffic

Speed reduction on the approaches to junctions and on turning will benefit the safety and comfort of both cyclists and pedestrians. The following points will also help:

  • Reducing all movements through a junction to a single lane
  • Lane widths that allow cyclists to comfortably take secondary position or primary position
  • Tight corner radii and raised entry treatments
  • Banning one or more turning movements that conflict with major cycle flows
  • Providing refuges that allow cyclists to cross junctions and turn in more than one stage
  • Giving priority to heavy cycle flow
  • Road markings to highlight the presence of cyclists such as cycle symbols, lines and advisory cycle lanes, and coloured surfacing (example in Figure 10.12)
Figure 10.12, Cycle Infrastructure Design
Figure 10.12, Cycle Infrastructure Design

Priority crossings of cycle tracks at side roads

In urban areas, where protected space separate from the carriageway is provided for cycling, it is important to design priority junctions so that wherever possible cyclists can cross the minor arms of junctions in a safe manner without losing priority. This enables cyclists to maintain momentum safely, meeting the core design outcomes of safety, directness and comfort.

para. 10.5.7 cycle infrastructure design

The different options for providing cycle priority at side roads in urban areas are shown in Figure 10.13.

Figure 10.13, Cycle Infrastructure Design
Figure 10.13, Cycle Infrastructure Design
Full set back, marked priority

It is preferable in safety terms if cycle tracks crossing side roads are one way in the direction of traffic on the carriageway (10.5.12).

Full set back, marked priority is suitable where traffic flows on the minor arm are 2,000/day; the crossing should be raised and paved in contrasting material. The arrangement reduces the likelihood of the cycle track being blocked by cars waiting to turn out of the junction.

A parallel crossing for pedestrians is suitable for a busier minor arm.

Partial set back, marked priority
Figure 10.16, Cycle Infrastructure Design
Figure 10.16, Cycle Infrastructure Design

Requires clear visibility. Use with caution – only where traffic volumes and speeds are low. Vehicles waiting to turn out of the junction tend to block the cycle track, so use where flows on minor arm are less than 2,000/day.

A parallel (zebra-type) crossing may be preferable instead.

No set back, design priority

This approach is suitable for one way tracks in the same direction as the traffic. Drivers leaving the side road must give way to cyclists, but there is no cycle priority over traffic turning in.

Full & partial set back, design priority

Priority for cyclists and pedestrians achieved by emphasising the continuity of the footway and cycle track.

No set back, marked priority

Typically used with carriageway-level kerbed cycle tracks, but can also be used with light segregation cycle lanes.

Non-priority crossings of cycle tracks at side roads

Appropriate in safety terms where the speed limit is more than 40mph. At busier junctions, consider signal controlled or grade-separated crossings.

Where cyclists have to give way, they should cross the minor arm at least 10m away from the edge of the major carriageway so they can ascertain whether vehicles are about to turn.

At rural junctions where the side road has less than 2,000 AADT, there should be no marked priority for either cycle traffic or traffic, and a minimum set back of 5m can be used (10.5.34).

Signalised junctions


The Core Design Principles can be applied when remodelling junctions to reallocate time from motor traffic and generate time savings for cyclists.

Sometimes there are benefits in removing traffic signals, or providing cycle by passes of signals, for example across the head of a T-junction.

Advanced Stop Lines are unlikely to be adequate by themselves to encourage most people to cycle through major junctions.

para. 10.6.4 cycle infrastructure design

Cycle signals

Technical details about cycle traffic lights. Para. 10.6.14 states that a form of cycle traffic light can be used as an ‘early release’ for cyclists, before the main traffic flow.

Cycle bypasses

Notes on cycle bypasses of red signals are in para. 10.6.15.

Dedicated cycle phase

Cyclists can be provided with a dedicated phase at a signal-controlled junction. It can be based on detection or push buttons. An example of where to use this is when cyclists can undertake a manoeuvre not permitted to general traffic – for example Beech Grove to Victoria Avenue in Harrogate.

Cycle and pedestrian-only stage

Toucan facilities at signal junctions. Not appropriate where pedestrian and cyclist flows are high.

Circulating cycle stage junction enables cyclists to make all movements around a junction in a single stage.

Hold the left

This stops turning traffic while a cycle track is given a dedicated green signal. It prevents left and right hooks. Straight ahead traffic can go at the same time as the cycle track. There’s a diagram of the layout (Figure 10.27).

Two stage turns

They enable cyclists to turn right without having to move to the centre of the carriageway, and can be of benefit on a multi-lane approach with high speed and volume of traffic (10.6.28). Additional delay is involved for cyclists so they are less suitable for junction with long signal cycles. There is a diagram (Figure 10.29).

Cycle gate

They provide a reservoir area a bit like an Advanced Stop Zone, with separately controlled entry points for cyclists and motor traffic. Complicated and needs a lot of space.

Early release

Low level cycle signals can turn green a few seconds (4s) before the main traffic signals, reducing the risk of conflict with turning traffic.

Advanced Stop Lines

ASLs do not remove conflict with motor vehicles and are therefore unattractive to less confident cyclists. Moreover, they do not resolve all problems at traffic signals even for more confident cyclists. ASLs only provide benefit to cyclists on a signal approach when the traffic signals are on red.

para. 10.6.43 cycle infrastructure design

ASLs should therefore only be considered to meet the full accessibility needs of most people on a junction approach that meets the followoing criteria:

  • traffic flows of less than 5,000 PCUs a day
  • no more than two traffic lanes
  • approach is on green for no more than 30% of the cycle time, and
  • there is a nearside protected route to the ASL that is of sufficient width to accommodate the cycle design vehicle



Roundabouts account for around 20% of all reported cyclist killed or injured (KSI) casualties, and roundabouts designed to standard UK geometry can be hazardous for cyclists.

para. 10.7.1 cycle infrastructure design

This is because wide and smooth paths for motor vehicles mean high traffic speeds, and big speed differences between motor vehicles and cyclists.

Dedicated left turn slip turn slip lanes pose an additional hazard for cyclists (10.7.2).

Normal roundabouts with flared geometry and no additional cycle facilities are unsuitable for most people wishing to cycle and can pose a high risk even for experienced cyclists. New roundabouts on all-purpose roads should be provided with cycle facilities as recommended in this guidance…

para. 10.7.3 cycle infrastructure design

There are two ways to accommodate cyclists (10.7.5):

  • provide protected space away from the carriageway with cycle priority or signal-controlled crossings of entries and exits
  • where traffic volumes and speeds are low or can be made so, compact or mini-roundabouts with narrow lane widths so cyclists can ride in primary position

Options for improving conditions for cycling at existing roundabouts (10.7.6):

  • remodel the junction as a Compact Roundabout
  • provide protected space for cycling around the junction with suitable crossings of each arm
  • grade separated cycle tracks
  • introduce signal control to the roundabout with protected space for cycling
  • replace the roundabout with a signal controlled or other junction, with appropriate cycle facilities

Cycle lanes on the outside of the circulatory carriageway should not be used, even on compact and mini-roundabouts, since cycle lanes offer no physical protection and cyclists using them are very vulnerable to ‘left hook’ collisions when motor vehicles are exiting the junction.

para. 10.7.7 cycle infrastructure design

Fully-kerbed cycle tracks will often be appropriate (10.7.9). The preferred type of crossing of roundabout entries and exits should follow the guidance in 10.3; in urban areas, parallel crossings may be best (10.7.12).

Figure 10.37, Cycle Infrastruture Design
Figure 10.37, Cycle Infrastruture Design

Where speeds and flows are higher, signalised crossings will be necessary, as close as possible to the outside of the circulatory carriageway to minimise the deviation in the path of cyclists (10.7.13). Uncontrolled crossings, where cyclists give way to vehicles at entries and exits, should only be used at lower traffic flows and speeds (10.7.14).

Signals can improve safety, but large roundabouts can still be a deterrent to cycling so should not be regarded as inclusive unless protected space for cycling is provided. Details of designs are provided in paras. 10.7.18-27 and Figures 10.39 and 10.41. At a large roundabout, it may be helpful to provide direct routes for cycling across the central island (10.7.25).

Compact Roundabouts are covered in paras. 10.7.28-32 and Figure 10.45. The idea is to have tighter geometry that is more cycle friendly, so cyclists can use the roundabout in primary position, and motorists are unable to overtake cyclists on entry and exits.

Mini-roundabouts can work well when traffic speeds and volumes are low. They should use tight geometry (paras. 10.7.33-37.

Grade separated crossings and junctions

This means crossings of obstacles at different heights – bridges or underpasses. Grade separated crossings can provide a high level of service, but it can involve cyclists in changes in level and deviation from desire line, and there can be concerns over personal security.

Careful attention should be given to the need to maintain routes in good condition, particularly the lighting and drainage of underbridges which could otherwise become unattractive and a potential location for anti-social behaviour.

para. 10.8.5 cycle infrastructure design

This section has details of widths, when to separate and when to use shared use, parapet height, headroom, maximising natural light, alignment of cycle tracks and ramps, and wheeling ramps.

11) Cycle parking and other equipment

Chapter 11 starts on p131, and says that sufficient and convenient residential cycle parking enables people to choose cycling. At the trip end, parking close to destination is important for short stay parking, and security is a concern for longer stay parking.


Cycle parking should be provided at:

  • places of residence
  • interchanges with other modes of transport
  • shops and caf├ęs (short stay)
  • work and education (long stay)

Cycle parking is integral to any cycle network, and has a significant influence on cycle use. On-street toolkits and pumps supplement cycle infrastructure and provide a strong visual symbol of cycling within the transport environment.

Space for cycle parking should be considered at the earliest possible stage of a scheme design or building development.

para. 11.1.4 cycle infrastructure design

Cycle parking – general principles

The fear or experience of vandalism and theft deters cycling. Lack of space to keep a bike in the home is a problem, especially in apartments and for disabled cyclists who need easy access to their cycle. Cycle parking provision should consider all types of cycle vehicle and all types of cycle user.

Short stays: convenience of access is the top concern. Parking close to shop fronts provides good passive surveillance. Small clusters of stands close to main attractors are better than one central hub.

Longer stays: security is the primary consideration. CCTV, shelter from the weather and secure access are all of benefit. Cycle parking in dwellings must be in the home or apartment building, or the immediate vicinity.

Specific areas should be set aside for three-wheel cycles, in the most accessible parts of a large cycle park so they can be used by disabled people with adapted cycles. Isolated cycle stands for short term parking should be configured for the length of cargo bikes and tandems, and the width of tricycles and side-by-side cycles.

Quantity of cycle parking

A local authority can set out minimum or preferred capacity standards and acceptable types of cycle parking in local planning guidance for new developments. In the absence of local guidance, Table 11-1 suggests minimum cycle parking capacities (11.3.1).

Table 11-1, Cycle Infrastructure Design
Table 11-1, Cycle Infrastructure Design

Data gathered for LCWIPs can be helpful in understanding and predicting demand (11.3.3). Spare capacity should always be provided, and the effect of new infrastructure factored in (11.3.4).

Regular surveys of where and how many cycles are parked can inform decisions about how much cycle parking to provide in new developments. Monitoring and consultation can include:

  • Surveys of existing cycle parking (public spaces, private spaces, and “fly parking”)
  • Engagement with businesses and organisations to understand customer and visitor patterns
  • Engagement with local pedestrian and accessibility groups to understand where fly parking presents an obstruction
  • Reviewing existing trip generators and the ability to access them easily by cycle
  • Introducing temporary cycle parking stands as a trial measure and monitoring use

Cycle parking types and dimensions

Slots or hoops that support only the front wheel should not be used. Many bikes have quick release wheels, and this type of support increases the risk of theft.

Sheffield stands are the preferred and most common form of cycle parking. An “M-profile” variant can be even better for locking bikes and preventing theft.

Details of positioning, distances and spacing are set out in paras. 11.4.6-8 and Table 11-2.

Two-tier stands increase density, but additional provision is needed for three-wheelers, tandems, recumbents and other non-standard cycles.

Cycle hubs are places where a lot of cycle parking is provided, usually within a building. They can be general access, or restricted to key or pass holders, and can include pumps and repair tools.

Cycle parking in town centres

Short stay parking should be on-street not in hubs or shelters. Stands should not impinge on key pedestrian desire lines.

Interchange facilities

Cycling facilities help people combine cycling and public transport. Much of the UK population lives within 2 miles of a railway station. Cycle hubs are the best form of cycle parking at public transport stations. The chosen location should be covered by CCTV.

Cycle hub facilities are also appropriate at Park & Ride sites.

Bus stops should also be considered as locations to install cycle parking.

Workplace facilities

Workplace cycle parking can be incorporated in a site’s secure perimeter. Changing, shower and locker facilities should be considered when designing or refurbishing office buildings, to support cycle commuting.

Residential facilities

It is good practice to provide dedicated cycle parking within new developments, as outlined in the NPPF (11.8.1).

On-street cycle hangars can be retro-fitted to a street or within an estate; they are usually only available to registered key-holders.

Ancillary equipment

Ancillary equipment can remove barriers to cycling and give a positive message that it is a legitimate and valid form of transport. This can include footrests and/or handrails at traffic signals; air pumps and toolkits.

Digital cycle counters showing a real time total of cyclists per day or per year provide a strong visual nudge that cycle infrastructure is a serious part of the transport system, and communicates to cyclists that they are valued. They provide evidence of the level of use of a facility, which can be useful in discussions with decision makers.

para. 11.9.4 cycle infrastructure design

12) Planning and designing for commercial cycling

Chapter 12 starts on p141 and concerns public cycle hire schemes and cycle logistics.

Public cycle hire

This can be a staffed location, automated docked systems, or dockless systems. Paras. 12.1.1-6 contain notes on the space needed, redistribution of bikes, integration with public transport and more.

Cycle freight

Figure 12.2, Cycle Infrastructure Design
Figure 12.2, Cycle Infrastructure Design

Manual and e-bikes can be used to move items in areas of high-density land use. Paras 12.2.1-5 contain notes on space needed for consolidation centres, for cycle storage, and on the range of cycles in common use.

13) Traffic signs, road markings and wayfinding

Chapter 13 starts on p145 and states that traffic signs and road markings must comply with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD) or be authorised by the Secretary of State.


Designers should always question whether new signs are needed at all (13.1.2). These are some key principles:

  • Signing should be kept to a minimum
  • The size of a sign and x-heights should be enough so it can easily read by cyclists and/or drivers
  • Sign posts and lighting columns should not be placed within a cycle track or footway wherever possible

There is freedom to install locally distinctive signing away from highways (13.1.6).

Mounting heights and positions

Technical details of heights and distances.

Regulatory signs

Regulatory signs are needed to give effect to Traffic Regulation Orders, including exemptions for cyclists to ‘no entry’ or banned turns.

Informatory signs

The CYCLISTS DISMOUNT sign to TSRGD diagram 966 should not normally be used – on a well-designed facility, it is very rarely appropriate and represents a discontinuity in the journey, which is highly disruptive.

para 13.4.1 cycle infrastructure design

Designers should design or modify schemes to ensure that its use is avoided.

The END OF ROUTE sign…and the END marking…are not mandatory, and should be used sparingly…where their use appears unavoidable, designers should be able to defend their decision and why it cannot be avoided. When deciding whether to use them, consideration should be given to the purpose they are meant to serve. If the end of the route is obvious, they are redundant. If the cycle route cedes priority on ending, GIVE WAY signing is used instead.

para 13.4.3 cycle infrastructure design

Road markings

Technical details about road markings; they should always be well-laid and clear.

Direction signs and markings within the highway

Distances in miles. Time in minutes may be shown separate cycle and pedestrian signs. 10mph provides the basis for cycle journey times.

Direction signs

Figure 13.2, Cycle Infrastructure Design
Figure 13.2, Cycle Infrastructure Design

Local route branding patches can be used, as well as NCN branding. Direction signs can promote awareness of the route.

The presence of a signed route may create an expectation in users that that route will provide a certain level of service. Poor provision will undermine trust in the signed network. Designers need to be mindful of the quality of any signed link and capabilities of the intended users.

para. 13.7.5 cycle infrastructure design

Direction signs may be more necessary in back street or traffic free routes (13.7.6). A map-type explanatory sign can be used where the cycle route leaves the carriageway.

Direction signs for off-highway routes

They do not have to comply with TSRGD but should include information about distances, destinations and direction. Consistent design and branding will help.

Preparing a signing schedule

A signing schedule is in done in table format to work out what direction signs are needed and where to place them. ‘It is important to cycle the route in both directions to consider where to place signs that will be visible to users.’


Area maps help to understand the overview of a local area on off-road routes like railway trackbeds and canals. Information totems can be used for on-street routes, for example at docking stations and cycle parking stands; orient the map the same way as the viewer is facing.

Branding cycle routes and networks

Branded routes are usually longer routes (3 to 5 miles) radiating from a town or city centre.

Signing for roadworks

Traffic cones or wands can create protected space for cycling.

One of the main issues for cyclists is that traffic lanes are narrow, and close overtaking by motor traffic can be intimidating. Table 13-1 contains appropriate lane widths and speed limits to enhance cycle safety.

Table 13-1, Cycle Infrastructure Design
Table 13-1, Cycle Infrastructure Design

Portable traffic signals should be set to a timing that gives cyclists enough time to get through. This should be checked on site.

Temporary road closures for motor traffic usually permit pedestrian access unless there are safety concerns and are often accessible by bicycle. Permitting cycle access is often a safer option than a diversion onto a longer or busier route, provided this does not introduce conflict with pedestrians.

para. 13.12.4 cycle infrastructure design

14) Integrating cycling with highway improvements and new developments

Chapter 14 starts on p153 and states that good quality cycle infrastructure should be delivered in all new developments, new highways and highway improvement schemes. This is a cost-effective way of making improvements.


Appropriate cycle facilities should always be provided within all new and improved highways in accordance with the guidance contained in this document…

para 14.1.2 cycle infrastructure design

With appropriate policies and processes in place, most schemes for cycle traffic will be delivered alongside other highway works and as part of new developments (14.1.3).

The requirements should include the provision of new cycle routes connecting to and through developments and enhancing the provision for cycling when making alterations to links and junctions on existing highways. It will not usually be acceptable to maintain an existing poor level of service when undertaking highway improvement schemes.

para 14.1.4 cycle infrastructure design

More modest but still effective improvements can be achieved as part of highway maintenance – for example when road markings are being renewed.

Policy background

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

Planning policies should provide for high quality walking and cycling networks and supporting facilities such as cycle parking (14.2.1). Applications for development should ‘give first priority to pedestrian and cycle movements, both within the scheme and neighbouring areas’ (14.2.2). Planning policies should aim to achieve healthy lifestyles through layouts and easy connections that encourage walking and cycling (14.2.3).

Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIP)

They allow local authorities to identify how cycling and walking networks should be provided and improved (14.2.4). LCWIPs should be incorporated into local authority policies, notably planning and transport (14.2.5).

LCWIPs should expressly consider planned new developments, both in terms of the additional demands they will create for cycling and walking and more significantly how new and improved highway infrastructure created and funded by development can contribute to these networks. This can be achieved through the Community Infrastructure Levy, Section 106 contributions and Section 278 highway agreements.

para 14.2.6 cycle infrastructure design

Where local authorities have developed a future cycling network through an LCWIP it will enable them to seek meaningful and worthwhile contributions from new developments rather than ad-hoc and isolated measures which do not enable active travel journeys beyond the site.

para 14.2.7 cycle infrastructure desgin

The LCWIP guidance notes that in other transport schemes opportunities should be taken to embed the requirements of cyclists and pedestrians; authorities should treat walking and cycling with the same importance and consideration as motorised transport (14.2.8). The Network Management Duty placed on traffic authorities under the Traffic Management Act 2004 is to secure expeditious movement for all traffic, and that includes pedestrian and cycle traffic (14.2.9).

Providing for cycling in new developments

Planning processes

New housing development provides a major opportunity to create new and improved cycle infrastructure.

para 14.3.1 cycle infrastructure design

LCWIPs should be undertaken by local authorities to plan the wider cycle network across an area. These networks should reflect the demand for cycle journeys created by planned development to key locations such as town centres, employment hubs and schools; as well as the potential for new links to be provided through a site to connect existing places…

para 14.3.2 cycle infrastructure design

Relevant LCWIP proposals should be reflected in area- and site-specific plans and documents such as Supplementary Planning Guidance, a Development Framework or an Area Action Plan. This will inform development requirements including:

  • principal points of connection to the wider cycle network
  • requirements for off-site cycle route improvements
  • general principles of the on-site network
  • other infrastructure needed such as cycle parking

New highways are normally promoted, funded, designed and built by the private sector. Local highway authorities should approve designs that enable people to use cycles for everyday journeys (14.3.4).

A Transport Assessment informs all-mode travel demands for the site. It should not overestimate motor traffic travel demands, which could make it difficult to provide well-designed cycle infrastructure, particularly at site access points. Travel demand forecasts should take account the potential for increased levels of cycling enabled by high-quality facilities on and off site.

Pedestrian and cycle links should be provided to destinations within new developments; and external links to adjacent employment, education, administrative, transport interchange and retail destinations (14.3.7).

Planning conditions can require specific cycle parking and cycle routes and specify the standard that should be met within the site (14.3.8). S.106 agreements can also be used (14.3.9). Community Infrastructure Levy can be used to ‘pool’ charges and improve infrastructure across the whole local area (14.3.10).

Planning the network

Manual for Streets says new developments should be well connected with a choice of routes, but in some cases fewer accesses and routes should be provided for private cars, to give priority to sustainable modes of transport (14.3.11).

Cycling facilities should be regarded as an essential component of the site access and any off-site highway improvements that may be necessary. Developments that do not adequately make provision for cycling in their transport proposals should not be approved. This may include some off-site improvements along existing highways that serve the development.

para 14.3.12 cycle infrastructure design

Within larger sites a densely-spaced network of cycle routes that connect all parts of the development should be planned (14.3.13). Networks within developments should be a mix of dedicated space for cycling within highways, quiet mixed traffic streets, motor traffic free routes, junction treatments, and cycle parking at origins, destinations and interchanges (14.3.14).

Networks need to meet the five Core Design Principles (14.3.5).

Designing the network

Within new highways there are few constraints so no excuse for not meeting the geometric requirements and other guidance in this document (14.3.17).

Design codes for new developments can be useful – typically prepared by the development team and approved by the highway authority (14.3.18).

A cycle network plan should be included in the design code, setting out what type of route (off-carriageway cycle tracks, on-carriageway cycle track, on-carriageway, or greenway) will be provided in each location as part of the overall layout.

para 14.3.19 cycle infrastructure design

During the design and delivery stages, development control and highways staff should have oversight and review of designs to ensure they are being delivered as intended. New residential developments should follow the principles in the Manual for Streets (14.3.20).

Main streets

New main streets or spine roads in large developments will have a lot of fast motor traffic, which means that protected space for cycling is required, as well as regular crossings. Designers should follow the guidance in Chapter 6.

Bus only routes should include a parallel cycle track.

Quiet streets and cycle streets

Most residential streets in new developments will be suitable for cycling in mixed traffic, but where streets serve a larger area of the development traffic forecasts should be used to check if on-carriageway cycling is ok, and if not filtering of the network should be introduced to create acceptable conditions and give priority to cycling and walking (14.3.25).

As recommended by Manual for Streets, the minor street network should create a series of reasonably direct and well connected routes for cycling, rather than forming a convoluted layout of curved streets and cul-de-sacs.

para 14.3.26 cycle infrastructure design

Although the minor street network should all provide good cycling conditions it may be appropriate to designate some streets as important cycle routes, for example those which lead directly to an off-highway route through a green space. These ‘cycle streets’ could be indicated through changes in paving material, planting or other design changes so that they are understood to as being principally for cycling…

para 14.3.27 cycle infrastructure design

Motor traffic free routes

Figure 14.6, Cycle Infrastructure Design
Figure 14.6, Cycle Infrastructure Design

New cycling and walking routes through new open space: these should not be seen as only recreational, but designed in accordance with Chapter 8 (14.3.28). This means reasonably straight, connected to the overall network, separate provision for walking and cycling, well-lit, hard-surfaced and well-drained so usable all year round (14.3.29). In some cases this will be substantial infrastructure.

New highways and improvement schemes

The relevant parts of the process in Manual for Streets are objective setting, design and quality auditing. Some of the key points are:

  • whatever the prime objective of the scheme, it is important to consider how it can add to or improve existing walking and cycling networks (14.4.3)
  • enhancing cycle and walking provision should always be included in the objectives and translated into a specific and measurable outcome (14.4.4)
  • rapid growth in walking and cycling levels can occur once safe and attractive conditions are created (14.4.5)
  • walking and cycling must be considered at an early stage in the design process to ensure enough land is available to meet infrastructure requirements, e.g. for separation from motor traffic; with schemes already in development where land take is already fixed, cycle facilities should still meet the standards in this guidance so far as possible, which may require rethinking space given to motor traffic (14.4.7)

Local authority design guides and standards

Local authorities are responsible for setting their own design standards for their roads (14.5.1).

DfT recommends that local authorities follow the advice contained in Manual for Streets 1 and 2 when developing their standards. These stress the importance of placing a high priority on meeting the needs of pedestrians and cyclists, so that growth in these modes of travel is encouraged.

para 14.5.2 cycle infrastructure design

Authorities should review their design guidelines to ensure that they are consistent with this LTN so that developers’ design teams are aware of what is expected of them, so that they will include appropriate measures for walking and cycling as a matter of course.

para 14.5.3 cycle infrastructure design

15) Construction and maintenance

Chapter 15 concerns construction and maintenance of cycle routes and starts on p163.

Careful design and selection of construction materials will reduce long-term maintenance costs. Cycle-only routes don’t need the same construction strength as carriageways. There is no natural ‘sweeping effect’ from cyclists.

Construction materials

Surface quality affects the comfort and effort required when cycling. Loose surfaces such as gravel or mud can also present a skidding hazard, increase the risk of punctures and make cycles and clothing dirty in bad weather…Smooth, sealed solid surfaces offer the best conditions for everyday cycling.

para 15.2.1 cycle infrastructure design

Good quality smooth, machine laid surfaces appeal to a wide range of users and offer greater accessibility and safety for wheelchair users, mobility scooters and blind and partially sighted people (15.2.2).

Sealed surfaces should normally be provided within towns, cities and villages and on commuter routes from the immediate hinterland. This might include rural cycle routes between villages, for example where pupils might be expected to travel to school.

para 15.2.3 cycle infrastructure design

Outside built-up areas, crushed stone can be used for off-highway routes, but this will be less accessible (15.2.5).

There are several technical paragraphs about the elements of construction – formation and sub-base, surfaces, edges and verges, ecology, drainage, and ancillary works like lighting and fencing.

Sealed surfaces are more expensive to install but the additional cost is more than offset by reduced maintenance over the life of the scheme (15.2.12). Para 15.2.14 deals with spray and chip surfacing.

Unbound surfaces are generally unsuitable for utility cycling and in practice have proven to require regular maintenance and repair, being prone to erosion on gradients and easily damaged by horses.

para 15.2.18 cycle infrastructure design

Hedgerows should be set back at least 1m and maintained so they don’t drop thorns on the path (15.2.21).


Cycle routes across quiet parks or along canal towpaths may not be well used after dark even if lighting is provided, so a suitable onroad alternative matching the desire line should be considered (15.3.2). Subways should be lit at all times.

Importance of maintenance

Poorly maintained cycle and pedestrian surfaces are hazardous and unattractive to users (15.4.1). The most important cycle routes in a network may be away from the highway and will need more frequent inspection and maintenance than other off-road environments (15.4.2). The updated UK Roads Liaison Group ‘Well Managed Highway Infrastructure’ code of practice in respect of footways and cycle routes should be applied.

General maintenance considerations in design

This is technical information for planners, designers and engineers.

Routine maintenance

Routine maintenance including regular sweeping is important to ensure that routes remain safe, comfortable and attractive to users at all times of the year…

para 15.6.1 cycle infrastructure design

Table 15-1 has a typical maintenance programme for off-road routes.

The most heavily used parts of the cycle route network should be prioritised for maintenance (15.6.2).

Appendix A Cycling Level of Service Tool

A table of Factors, Design principles and Indicators allows the Cycling Level of Service of a route to be scored.

Appendix A (1)
Appendix A (1)
Appendix A (2)
Appendix A (2)
Appendix A (3)
Appendix A (3)
Appendix A (4)
Appendix A (4)
Appendix A (5)
Appendix A (5)
Appendix A (6)
Appendix A (6)

Appendix B: Junction Assessment Tool


Junctions pose the greatest risk of collision, and fear of motor traffic is a major factor preventing uptake of cycling.

The Junction Assessment Tool (JAT) can be used at the design stage, as well as to assess existing junctions.

Scoring cycle movements and the overall junction

The junction assessment should be represented graphically by colour-coding each movement red, amber or green. Green means suitable for all potential cyclists, red suitable for a minority only and uncomfortable even for them.

Banned movements should be shown in black and score 0.

An overall percentage score for the junction should be calculated.