The Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy, published in 2018, sets out a vision for a healthier, greener and more prosperous city. The strategy makes clear that a new type of thinking is required to increase active, efficient and sustainable travel to help achieve this vision for London.
Cycling is a fundamental element of 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. 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. This is also an approach being implemented by many towns and cities across the UK.
One of the main challenges for highway authorities and contractors is maintaining cycle tracks during works especially at peak times. Historically, typical traffic management for roadworks in segregated routes means that cyclists either are diverted into the main roads or asked to dismount. The ‘cyclists dismount’ sign is not a favoured approach and with some of London’s cycle routes experiencing over 3000 cyclists in the peaks a difficult situation to manage.
To help maintain cycling during sensitive hours, TfL, working in collaboration with Cadent Gas and Oxford Plastics have developed a concept called the ‘cycle path plate’ which involves using a composite plate that can cover an excavation and be utilised specifically by cyclists.
To help trial the prototype, TfL enlisted the help from the London Cycle Campaign, Wheels for Wellbeing (an ability cycling group), Cargobike Life and PedalMe (taxi bikes) to ensure a variety of cycle types were represented.
The plate comes in manageable sections to adapt to various widths of cycle tracks. Fundamental to the design brief was the inclusion of requirements to cover up to 4m of cycle track width and trench width of approximately 1m. The plate is adequately profiled and anti-skid coated which aims to mitigate safety risks to cyclists as well as withstanding constant impact from cyclists while remaining securely in place.
This ramp design, which can be easily manoeuvred during the course of the road works, provides a practical and economical solution to promoters.
The product was launched in January 2019 and is now available through various traffic management suppliers. London Highways Alliance Contractor (LoHAC) CVU, have already purchased a number of cycle plates which have been utilised at numerous sets of works across London.
Details covering method of use can be found in the TfL Temporary Traffic Management Handbook, click on the link below for more information.