What’s the issue?

The Bristol regional cycle network is almost entirely made up of shared space with motor traffic, or shared use with pedestrians. Both are essential and useful where appropriate, but otherwise can create conflict and anxiety about safety from more vulnerable users, whether perceived or actual. The Bristol Bike Life 2015 Report rated shared pavements and bus lanes as the least popular measures.

Concerns about safety is the major factor preventing more people cycling. A safe, direct and convenient cycle network is the key factor in making cycling so easy that everyone feels able to do it.

BCyC position

Cycling, walking and driving need different networks with specific design requirements. These may overlap and be shared in specific circumstances. While comprehensive and suitably separated networks exist for walking and driving, there is little real Space for Cycling for a city with aspirations for 20% of trips by cycles.

Where differences in both speed and volumes are low, people on cycles can comfortably share streets with motor vehicles. Where actual speeds are in excess of 20mph, or where vehicle volumes exceed 2,000 a day, separated (protected) space for cycling is required.

Sharing between people walking and cycling can be relaxed, convenient and sociable in quieter spaces and pavements with clear lines of sight and low relative speeds. Where either pedestrian or cycle traffic is heavy it causes anxiety and avoidance.

pdf version: BCyCPolicy-SharedSpace

References and further information

  1. Bristol Cycling Campaign believes that everyone, whatever their age or ability, deserves safe and inviting space for cycling and walking on all our streets and roads. We are ambitious for a happier, healthier, greener and more civilised future where Bristol and the surrounding areas are alive with people on bicycles, because cycling is so easy that everyone does it.
  2. Shared use routes are “designed to accommodate the movement of pedestrians and cyclists. They can be created from new, or by converting existing footways or footpaths. Shared use routes may be unsegregated or segregated by a feature such as a white line, a kerb or some other feature”. Shared Use Routes for Pedestrians and Cyclists (LTN 1/12)
  3. Shared space is “a design approach that seeks to change the way streets operate by reducing the dominance of motor vehicles, primarily through lower speeds and encouraging drivers to behave more accommodatingly towards pedestrians”. Shared Space (LTN 1/11)
  4. Making Space For Cycling is a concise guide from Cyclenation, the federation of cycle campaign groups, setting out how to provide Space for Cycling.
  5. http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2008/11/shared-space.html. Views from influential cycle blogger.
  6. https://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.com/2015/11/09/sharing-the-road/.  Views from influential cycle blogger.
  7. http://www.cycling-embassy.org.uk/news/2015/07/03/the-holmes-report-into-shared-space.  Views from influential cycle blogger.
  8. http://www.voleospeed.co.uk/2011/07/byng-place-and-influence-of-anti.html.  Views from influential cycle blogger.
Update  Bristol Council have been working on a ‘Shared Use Routes for People Walking and on Bicycles’. This went out for consultation in Oct 2016. Here are the three relevant documents: