The rules setting out what can and can’t be done on our roads are set out in a document called Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD). These change painfully slowly and are a real constraint on innovation and straightforward changes to provide properly for bikes. There is a consultation out for some very beneficial changes to come in 2015.
For details see the CTC site but here is the response of Bristol Cycling Campaign.
Bristol Cycling Campaign response to TRSGD consultation
Bristol Cycling Campaign (BCyC) has been working to improve our city region for cycling since 1991. We produced the Bristol Cycling Manifesto in 2013 which has now been signed by over 4,000 people. This sets out a 12 year strategy to quadruple cycling in the city which has been endorsed by the Mayor of Bristol and will be debated by full Council on 22nd July.
We note that there is considerable agreement in the responses from leading cycling organisations and wish to endorse the fuller responses to the consultation by the CTC, Sustrans and by CEoGB. In addition, we would make the following more general observations:
Bristol has been innovating on providing for cycling for decades, but without more flexibility from the outdated constraints of the existing TSRGD regulations, authorities in our city will remain constrained in delivering these widely supported changes.
While a greater degree of local flexibility is to be welcomed, there is in fact an emerging consensus of what is best practice in the UK context. While there is still discussion around some points, such as the use of ASL, it is clear that a consistent and integrated review is required of all the measures needed to deliver the Prime Minister’s promised ‘cycling revolution’. This will lead to a more radical overhaul of the TSRGD regulations in the near future. We request that the current consultation is clearly stated to be an interim measure, or preferably that the process is extended to allow the production of a national framework that is able to deliver the necessary changes over the next decade. DfT must produce a new national design guide for cycling to replace the inadequate Cycle Infrastructure Design LTN 02/08 and to draw together guidance others have produced in its absence (Sustrans, Cyclenation, CTC)
TSRGD – even in its proposed draft version – remains unnecessarily complex. It’s complicated and at times convoluted set-up makes it difficult for a pragmatic and informed use of the practitioner. Locally, practitioners can too easily ‘hide behind’ a raft of regulations.
BCyC share the concerns of CTC, Sustrans and CEoGB that there are many key areas of TSRGD not covered by the current review that would bring significant improvements, notably around the systems of crossing being excessively restrictive. We agree with the points, made more fully in the CTC submission, that there needs to be i) re-examination of innovations without regard to regulatory changes; ii) simultaneous green phases for cyclists (aka ‘scramble crossing’); iii) left turn cyclists during red phase. We agree with Sustrans that regulations should provide greater flexibility to trial and for DfT to issue a blanket authorisation (or similar) for use of a sign that is subsequently agreed for this purpose.
Along with most other cycling groups in the UK we support the Sustainable Safety approach. We would urge the Department to adopt Dutch-equivalent practices and standards, which demand – and result in – cycling (and driving) infrastructure that is self-explaining.
All cycling bodies in the UK have endorsed the Making Space for Cycling guide (http://makingspaceforcycling.org) and we would ask that this is closely studied for the additional areas that TSRGD can be adapted to facilitate the way that local authorities implement the measures set out.
It is a source of national embarrassment that there is no UK city which can demonstrate best practice road design that meets the needs of all users, and in particular those choosing modes that bring the most benefit to themselves and their communities, namely pedestrians and cyclists. Instead we, along with many others including city leaders, are organising trips to the Netherlands and then spending much time trying to work around UK constraints on what needs to be done.
Bristol Cycling Campaign