Drivers call for segregated cycle lanes – Brake

11.35 | 8 March | | 9 comments

The majority of drivers would cycle more often if roads were made safer for those on two wheels, according to the road safety charity Brake.

A new survey conducted by Brake and Direct Line suggests that while 70% currently never cycle on single-carriageway A roads, more than half would be persuaded to if there was seperate space for cyclists.

Concerns highlighted in the survey include the 60mph speed limit on single-carriageway A roads being too fast to assure the safety of cyclists, while the warning signs and space available for cyclists were also labelled as inadequate.

Brake is calling on the Government to prioritise investment on building segregated, tarmacked cycle paths alongside the single-carriageway A road network, rather than any expansion of the road itself.

Joshua Harris, Brake’s director of campaigns, said: “Getting more people cycling is a win-win for the Government, delivering both personal and public health benefits.

“Contrary to popular opinion, our survey shows that the majority of drivers are willing to switch modes and cycle if safe facilities are available.

“We echo the call from drivers and urge the Government to prioritise investment in safe, segregated cycle routes in the upcoming Road Investment Strategy.”


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    While the survey comments may be valid, it’s of course ridiculous to think we can expect cycle paths to be built suffcIent that people don’t need to use A-roads. Wouldn’t it be far cheaper to make sure drivers knew how to (and did) drive properly?

    Simon Rook, Learnington Spa
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    From what I can see Paul, those possible reasons don’t seem to apply in the case of the cycle path I was referring to – it’s the A540 (south west side) in the Wirral, between Heswall and Thursaston if you want to look on google maps. I do see cyclists using it, so it can’t be that bad, but my point was, why are some still using the much coarser main c/way with traffic passing by them at 40 – 60 mph? when there is a better alternative – stubborness?

    Hugh Jones
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    Hugh – just possibly the people actually cycling might be in a better position to appraise the quality of that path.

    Possible problems : Shared with pedestrians and their dogs, requires crossing road twice, give way when the main road doesn’t, poor surface, poor re-joining of road (a dangerous manoeuvre )

    Paul Luton, TEDDINGTON
    Agree (2) | Disagree (3)

    Pat – when high quality connected cycling infrastructure is provided as in London people do use it. There have been massive increases. People will take the easiest route. If it becomes easier to cycle than to drive….

    Paul Luton, TEDDINGTON
    Agree (2) | Disagree (0)

    I will take a large pinch of salt with this Brake survey and comment, as I do with many of theirs. They are a campaigner so why wouldn’t they spin it their way.

    People often give answers in surveys that they think the questioner wants to hear or that are more socially acceptable. That is why when a solution to the alleged problem is provided e.g. building segregated tarmacked cycleways, the take-up does not achieve anywhere near expectations based on the surveys .

    Pat, Wales
    Agree (9) | Disagree (4)

    How do you know that most people want to use their bikes but are mysteriously prevented from doing so, though Adrian? I suspect most prefer their cars and occasionally cycle for recreation when they feel like it (me included) – nothing to do with the road system stopping them. I think the highway network is varied enough to accommodate cycling and is not so bad that it would deter would-be cyclists.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (8) | Disagree (7)

    I missed out the first line, Hugh…the whole point is that most people DO WANT to use their bikes, but our road system doesn’t allow them to do so…

    Adrian, Tunbridge Wells
    Agree (6) | Disagree (9)

    1) This is about A roads, which will be a small proportion of the total that might cycle.
    2) Within the sample, 53% would change mode if the infrastructure was improved
    3) Of the remaining 47%, a further 15% gave reasons that could be fixed (“hilly” = use an e-bike; “unfit” = start cycling; “can’t ride” – learn; no bike parking = build some) leaving just 32% who couldn’t or wouldn’t cycle…

    Let’s focus efforts on the 68% who might cycle and build safe infrastructure for them

    Adrian, Tunbridge Wells
    Agree (4) | Disagree (3)

    I can’t help feeling that if a motorized road users doesn’t want to cycle – for whatever reason (disinclination is a main reason given in their survey) – then no amount of publicity and official encouragement is going to change that. Anyone with the inclination to cycle for work or pleasure, I presume would be already doing so.

    Incidentally, near me there is a mile-and-a-half of segregated cycle path on a fast moving A-road and yet I still see cyclists riding on the main c/way and not on the quieter, safer, smoother, cycle path – can’t figure out why.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (10) | Disagree (5)