Cycling is a fundamental element towards attaining a healthier lifestyle and benefits from the negative pollution normally associated with motor vehicles. However, there are numerous barriers to cycling especially during roadworks. For many people, lack of confidence and feelings of vulnerability are common reasons for not cycling.
To encourage more cycling, Transport for London (TfL) is constructing more cycle networks. One method, segregated cycle facilities, aims to provide protected space for cycling especially on busy roads.
Between 2005 and 2017, 99 people were killed or seriously injured near roadworks on the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN). The Mayor and TfL’s Vision Zero ambition is to eliminate death and serious injury on London’s roads.
If contractors are unable to include temporary cycling facilities during works e.g. due to carriageway width constraints or other associated obstructions, cyclists may be placed at greater risk. The negative outcomes from less desirable conditions may cause cyclists, especially disabled cyclists and those less confident choosing not to cycle at all.
To help maintain all-inclusive cycling, TfL have been collaborating with local cycle groups to assess the viability of alternative routes. This approach includes:
- A desk top study to source and plot; available adjacent routes, routes with existing cycling facilities and roads with lower traffic flows
- An active assessment of the proposed routes undertaken by TfL, contractor (if available) and the local cycling group. This includes a risk assessment to understand any potential conflicts identified during the ride.
- A group discussion on the cycling experience covering; quality of facilities, comfort, safety and expeditious movement
- Consultation with the associated Highway Authority for use of route and method of signage considered; sign type, size, location of infrastructure (posts and lighting columns to be utilisied and wind loading).
Once the route assessment is completed and is deemed viable, a report is submitted to the project team for consideration. Taking a pragmatic approach towards safer cycling helps raise standards of working and improves public perception of the industry.
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