Pedestrian and Cycle Movement
In new residential areas, pedestrian and cycle movement should be coherent, direct, safe, comfortable and attractive. The pages in this section outline the design guidelines for how this can be achieved identifying considerations around pedestrians and cycles, cycle movement in developments and design principles.
Route design should overcome any physical barriers to pedestrian and cycle movement while taking into account topography, the lighting of routes and appropriate shelter, seating and resting points. The latter in particular should be accessible to and suitable for users of all ages and a range of physical and mental abilities. It is worth noting that this may result in the creation of less direct but flatter routes.
Direct routes should be provided to local facilities and adjacent neighbourhoods in such a way that it is more convenient and attractive to walk or cycle than to drive to such destinations.
The overarching aim should be to discourage the use of cars for local trips and to encourage walking and cycling between homes and local facilities. It is also important to ensure good accessibility and multiple pedestrian and cycle access points to residential areas from major roads.
Pedestrians and Cycles
With regard to the protection of the ageing population, people of reduced mobility, the partially sighted, the blind and people with dementia, the clear demarcation and identification of pedestrian routes is essential. Therefore it can be preferable not to locate cycle and walking lanes beside each other.
Cycle Movement in Developments
Designers need to ensure that they understand what cyclists need and how they behave, i.e. widths required by cyclists, visibility needs at junctions, preferred gradients, low-speed manoeuvres, parking manoeuvres etc.
In addition, designers need to understand the characteristics of a cycle network and should demonstrate how their proposals will enhance existing strategic networks in Essex. For more information, refer to the suite of cycling plans created by Essex County Council.
Networks within new developments should link to the wider community while providing access to and through local centres. This often requires the introduction of mixed-priority streets, direct connections, filtered permeability, area-wide 20mph limits, cycle-friendly junctions, on- and off-carriageway cycle tracks and traffic-free routes. As a rule, developments should maximise route opportunities with secure and convenient cycle-parking at both ends.
Designers should consider the principles that underpin cycle-friendly design and how they can be applied to route design and development. The central principles of cycle-friendly design seek to encourage routes that are coherent, direct, safe, comfortable and attractive.
The following principles have been adapted from the Sustrans publication ‘Principles and processes for cycle friendly design’ and are recognised as industry standards.
Table below shows the core cycle-friendly design principles.
This diagram illustrates how traffic volume and speed should influence decisions about the segregation of cyclists from other traffic. It also demonstrates how the restraint of traffic speeds and volumes may be used to create conditions likely to encourage new and novice cyclists to use the carriageway.
Cycle Links and Designs
Incorporating the relevant infrastructure from the outset is key to the success of both pedestrian and cycle routes – as are adequate storage/cycle-parking facilities.
In new developments, good design can create opportunities for children to cycle to school unaided and unaccompanied – unfortunately, unsafe routes and a lack of safe cycle-parking at or near schools can prevent this becoming a reality.
Note: an Essex Cycle Design portal is currently in development.
Page updated: 30/07/2019