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Roads to Nowhere

The Strategic Road Network must be improved for pedestrians and cyclists

17 October 2018

Responding to research released today, 17 October, by Transport Focus, Darren Shirley, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said:

"This illuminating and welcome research highlights that for too many pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders our major roads are still dangerous, inadequate, and have poorly maintained facilities.

"Whether they are travelling along or beside major roads or simply crossing them, pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders are road users too. It should be safe and easy for them to use our major roads. As the Government prepares to announce the next stage of its investment in our road network it should not ignore the experiences of pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders: groups who are too often sidelined or neglected by our road network."

Notes to editors

1. Cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians: measuring satisfaction with journeys on Highways England's network in the North West and East Midlands was released today, 17 October 2018, by Transport Focus.

2. In order to set investment in the Strategic Road Network, the Government publishes a multi-year 'Road investment strategy' (RIS). The second RIS (RIS2) will cover the financial years 2020/21 to 2024/25 and its publication is due soon.

3. In our 2017 report, Rising to the challenge: A shared green vision for RIS2, Campaign for Better Transport and allies called for better provision for walkers, cyclists and equestrians, including the following:

  • Where public rights of way cross the Strategic Road Network (SRN), these must be safeguarded, with appropriate signage and crossing points that reflect established routes and desire lines. Footways alongside the SRN must be fit for purpose, safe and well maintained.
  • Where the SRN is part of a local high street or residential area, roads should not only be safe but form part of the place, contributing to an attractive environment where people will want to walk and spend time.
  • Cycling facilities must not only be well designed but also in the right place. The Propensity to Cycle tool should be used to prioritise crossing locations and junction improvements on the SRN, as part of a data-led approach. By liaising with cycling organisations, local authorities, and other user groups at early stages of scheme design, new provision can link up with existing wider cycle networks, and other off-road networks, and ensure that other vulnerable users are not unnecessarily excluded.
  • Equestrian crossing points should be designed in line with best practice, using the Pegasus design, and located to maintain and improve connectivity with the wider bridle path network, on the same principle as linking up cycling routes. Alternative provision for equestrians should be included in projects on routes which have been determined unsafe for walkers and cyclists and where safe alternatives are therefore to be provided.
  • Highways England should institute training programmes and ongoing quality audits for both in-house and contractor teams, to ensure that best practice in cycling and equestrian provision becomes part of business as usual. Simple design features, for example ensuring that there is end-to-end visibility through underpasses, can make a huge difference.
  • The rollout of expressways could see the exclusion of non-motorised users from their local main roads. This is an opportunity for the provision of high-quality alternative routes which must be integrated into the cost and scope of expressway programmes, and be applicable to all vulnerable users.

4. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).