Cycle Facilities

Cycling is a carbon-neutral means of transportation and a good form of exercise and activity. Increasing the use of cycles can reduce traffic congestion and pollution, and all developments must be designed to encourage cycle ownership and use. It is important that the appropriate infrastructure is embedded from the start so it is considered the norm, rather than expecting residents to adapt to cycle use at a later date.

To this end, all new developments should consider the needs of cyclists with regard to:

  • Cycle parking, changing and charging facilities at destinations.
  • Routes between destinations.
  • Cycle storage that is safe, prominent, secure, covered and close to home and work.
  • Opportunity for cycle-hire stations and docks at hub and node locations, community hubs, bicycle repairs, ‘last-mile’ cargo bike deliveries, bike-share schemes etc.
  • How best to embrace new cycle technology.

Cycle Parking Facilities at Destinations

Cycle parking should aim to be more convenient than car parking. New developments should offer appropriate locations to park cycles at popular destinations both internally and in the wider locality, as well as providing supplementary changing and charging facilities.

While the adopted Vehicle Parking Standards for Essex specify the minimum provision required for storage and visitor parking, there is an expectation that the minimum standards will be insufficient to meet the future needs of compact urban development. The requirement is therefore to include additional short-stay cycle parking wherever this may reasonably be considered to be necessary.

For instance, streets must incorporate short-stay parking at frequent intervals located close to building entrances. Within a mixed-use street, stands should be sited in small clusters along its length, on each side of the thoroughfare. Within local and minor streets, stands should be incorporated into the design for space management, possibly acting as traffic-calming features or sited to protect fixed-play equipment.

In appropriate areas, where density and local population is sufficiently high to ensure their use, cycle-hire stations and docks should be provided either at hub locations or key local nodal points. For example, private company Brompton Bikes offers bikes to hire on a short- or long-term basis from convenient lockers located on-street in West London locations. This scheme has proven successful, with a major advantage for urban areas being the relative lack of space required to accommodate folding bikes. It is therefore also important to consider innovation in cycle design and hire technology, and how space (and relevant underground services) can be allocated within developments, now or in the future.

It is also important to note that developers may be asked to contribute to the provision of cycle parking at important locations within the immediate area.

Routes Between Destinations

Connections between home and other destinations should be as safe and practical as possible, including the incorporation of appropriate resting points. The better and more convenient these are, the more likely that they will be used; developments should identify opportunities to add new or improve existing routes within the Context Appraisal. The improvement of routes to local schools and between neighbourhoods is of primary importance.

The community should also be connected to local and structural green space; every new development needs to play a part in contributing to the fulfilment of green infrastructure plans. Well-designed, laid out and landscaped cycle routes, footpaths and other linear features can provide essential links for people of all ages and a range of physical and mental abilities, encouraging users as well as allowing wildlife to move safely between habitats. Development can help ensure a connected green infrastructure by undertaking small, incremental interventions and improvements as opportunities arise over time. Any network should seek to effectively integrate into existing networks beyond the development boundary.

Cycle Storage Close to Home

Facilities for overnight and long-term cycle storage can be made in a variety of ways, although all stands should be secure and under cover, as well as clearly identifiable and accessible to people of all ages and a range of physical and mental abilities. They may share underground, under-deck or under-croft car parking areas or they may be located by a street entrance on the ground floor of a building. In the latter case, it is good practice to position these storage facilities close to the ground-floor entrances to apartments in purpose-designed spaces. Sufficient cycle parking should be available for all residents of apartments.

Larger developments such as garden communities should consider the potential for more collective, managed arrangements, such as cycle-hire, that would work well in association with a cycle-repair workshop. With such alternative arrangements in place, the level of long-term cycle storage elsewhere on the site could be reduced.

Page updated: 9/02/2018

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