Primary pedal principles

Following the very successful Go Dutch conference and ThinkBike workshop, and keeping a watchful eye on the tragic deaths unfolding in London, Newcycling (Newcastle’s cycling campaign), has put together design principles on road layouts for Local Authorities. The group hopes that this way existing UK guidelines are strengthened, as their document closes some gaps and further explains what’s needed when designing for mass cycling.

Katja Leyendecker, chair of the group, says “It was great to see the Dutch come to Newcastle in early November. And it was particularly exhilarating to see that we agree with their approach of sustainable road safety and other safe design principles. This means we should design for cyclists needs and with future modal share in mind. It also means separating traffic streams. Speed, volume and traffic mix being the most important factors to decide what level of protection a cyclist needs on a certain road or junction. The term cyclist, of course, embraces anyone on a bike, all abilities and ages – eight years old to over eighty.

“The UK cycle design guidelines are sensible, but can be interpreted in too many ways. We have worked with council designers for a few years now, and we saw rules broken, misread and sometimes simply misunderstood. Brighton Grove, Fenham Hall Drive and Elswick Road are just a few examples where council designs weren’t quite right, for varying reasons. These are costly mistakes too, luckily as yet in monetary terms only, and not counted in people lives.

“In light of the rising death toll in London where cycling is on the increase with little safe cycleways available to the bike user, we want to make sure we do all we can to prevent this from happening in Newcastle, Tyne and Wear. We want to help council designers to understand better what cyclists really need and how best to design for cycling as a mode of transport for everybody. We are really deeply worried and shocked by what’s happening in London, and cannot rest until we know we have done everything we can. The Dutch also told us that city transport and road networks – and cycling is part and parcel of that – requires a much wider, a more holistic, look and we believe that Cabinet should take an interest now to get this right for Newcastle.

“We hope people at the council will find our collection of cycle concepts and principles useful.”

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Design principles

Newcastle conference “Love Cycling Go Dutch”

Warning to council bosses