Response to Draft transport accessibility action plan

This is a written response from to the “Draft transport accessibility action plan” – external link

We are a constituted organisation entirely run by volunteers. We formed in 2010 to address economic, social and spatial inequalities in the local transport system. We lobby Newcastle council for inclusive cycling infrastructure. Our organisation has 1,600 local members. We submit this response on behalf of our membership in line with our constitution and policies.

We agree that the DfT’s advice on cycling infrastructure design must be updated. We do not however believe that a refresh of current guidance is sufficient at all. For future design decisions on good quality infrastructure to take place, we ask the department to look for inspiration at the TfL standard as well as the Dutch design document, the Design Manual for Bicycle Traffic by CROW.

Further, the current status of ‘guidance’ of the LTN2/08 is inappropriate for the learning situation the UK design community/profession is in. For the sake of local adherence and impact, we suggest the DfT declare the designs within the document as standards (a threshold that must be met or exceeded in all future road schemes). Justification for going below standard or applying multiple minimum standards simultaneously must be recorded by the officer in writing. In addition, DfT must set aside relevant assistance and budgets to demonstrate their commitment to planning and building quality cycling infrastructure.

To reiterate and clarify, only quality cycling infrastructure will enable a larger and more inclusive section of the population – including women, children, older people and disabled – to take up cycling. We ask DfT to provide appropriate leadership; this is paramount. This review is an opportunity to demonstrate DfT’s commitment to planning and building a healthy transport system.