Wakefield Council. Cycle Strategy for Wakefield 2013 A guide to delivering cycle infrastructure.

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1 Wakefield Council Cycle Strategy for Wakefield 2013 A guide to delivering cycle infrastructure

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3 - A guide to delivering cycle infrastructure Executive Summary This document presents a strategy to deliver the best cycling infrastructure for the Wakefield District and in doing so support the health of our citizens and the environment and economy of Wakefield by increasing the use of cycling as a transport mode, a pastime and for sport, in both urban and rural areas. The strategy builds on the once in a lifetime opportunity to raise the profile of cycling across the region provided by Yorkshire's hosting of the Grand Départ of the 2014 Tour de France. It follows British successes at London 2012 and in the 2012 and 2013 Tours, which have already brought cycling into the limelight. Cycling's popularity as a low cost, low pollution, healthy and enjoyable transport mode has also increased enormously in recent years. To capitalise on this opportunity local and regional partners have come together with local cycling groups to develop a cycling legacy for Wakefield that promotes and increases cycling district wide. We will add value to local infrastructure by promoting cycling, providing strong co-ordinated leadership and raising cycling's profile through sharing information on best practice. Our vision is for Wakefield: We will achieve this vision by giving people of all ages, abilities and disabilities, whether living in or visiting Wakefield, access to infrastructure and facilities that enable them to cycle confidently and safely. To encourage cycling we will provide coordinated leadership and investment that; To be recognised as a great district for safe cycling, inspiring more people to cycle more often. Delivers high quality infrastructure; Increases skills; Promotes uptake; Increases participation in sport; Improves health and fitness; Increases capacity in communities.... It is important to keep in mind that although this is a cycling infrastructure strategy, achieving the vision contributes to a broad range of cross-sectoral objectives; health and wellbeing, the environment and the economy as well as social inclusion, tourism, transport and sporting success. Wakefield already has a wide range of excellent opportunities for cycling (including led rides, training, sports clubs and bike doctors) as well as examples of good quality infrastructure that support leisure, utility and sports cycling. However, there remains significant scope to improve and expand the opportunities to new and existing cyclists, thus encouraging and inspiring more people in the district to start cycling or cycle more often. Evidence of the benefits of cycling continues to grow, not least from the recent publication of guidance on promoting walking and cycling from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. Wakefield's guide to delivering cycle infrastructure supports the vision for cycling in Yorkshire and recognises the key objectives: Safe, high quality infrastructure and facilities to enable cycling, appropriate to local circumstances and need, to be provided throughout each local authority area, linking main residential and ingress points to key destinations; Cycling to be widely perceived as a safe, effective, cheap, healthy and enjoyable activity for commuting and leisure; Yorkshire and the Humber to be recognised as a great region for cycle sport, cycle tourism and events; A broad range of community, public and private sector partners to be effectively working together to promote cycling; Local authorities and partners to effectively encourage and facilitate everyone in the region to cycle more often as a mode of transport, for recreation and for sport. 1

4 ... Contents Page Introduction Background Context Strategy Aims and Objectives Cycling Objectives 8. Objective 1: Creating a Network of Cycle Routes 10. Objective 2: Design Principles and Standards 12. Objective 3: Cycle Safety 13. Objective 4: Construction of Cycle Routes 14. Objective 5: Maintenance of Cycle Routes 15. Objective 6: Adopt Guidelines for Cycle Parking Standards 16. Objective 7: Travel Plans 17. Objective 8: Safe Routes to School / School Travel Plan Initiatives 18. Objective 9: Land Use Planning 19. Objective 10: Communication and Promotion 21. Objective 11: Enforcement Targets Proposed Action Plan Proposed Programme of Cycling Initiatives Monitoring APPENDICES 29 A. Local Development Framework Policies 31 B. Cycle Parking Standards for Wakefield 39 C. Construction Standards 45 D. Inspection, Maintenance and Repair Standards 2

5 1. Introduction The Wakefield Cycle Strategy is designed to complement the Regional Get Yorkshire Cycling initiative and the West Yorkshire Local Transport Plan Cycle Prospectus and place cycling into a more specific Wakefield context. The strategy will inform how all highway, maintenance, new developments and cycling infrastructure schemes are developed for the benefit of cyclists. It will also outline how resources are allocated to ensure the objectives and targets set out are achieved. People cycle for enjoyment, sport, to improve their health and as a utility (e.g. commuting, accessing shops, etc.). Encouraging more people to cycle contributes to the objectives set out in the Local Development Framework and the Local Transport Plan to tackle congestion, improve air quality, promote physical activity and improve accessibility. The Yorkshire and Humber Local Authorities and other key partners are collaborating to develop and implement a regional strategy for realising the Legacy of the 2014 Tour de France. Yorkshire's hosting of the Grand Depart is a unique opportunity to raise the profile of cycling and to add value to local initiatives by drawing partners together to co-ordinate activities and funds. The strategy is to be used primarily: As a guide for highway and traffic engineers to incorporate cycling within all highway schemes and maintenance programmes; To guide development management staff in assessing new development proposals; By developers and their agents to ensure that the needs of cyclists are included in development proposals; To clarify and inform the public and cycling interest groups; 3

6 By all Council services departments who are planning infrastructure improvements; To help promote physical activity and improve overall health outcomes. The Local Transport Plan (LTP3) and the Manual for Streets adopt a hierarchy of users to assist in design, planning and development management decisions. These place pedestrians at the top, followed by cyclists and then public transport and other vehicles. It is intended that the application of the principles put forward in this strategy will enable a consistent level of cycling infrastructure to be implemented throughout the district. Clearly every scheme and location needs to be considered on its own merits, however, this Strategy should be followed when deciding on what form a cycle facility should take. It is recognised that many potential new and returning cyclists have a perception that cycling on the road is not safe and therefore a good network of designated cycling facilities and lanes and traffic free routes is needed to encourage them to see cycling as an alternative means of travel. However, roads that have low traffic volumes, low speeds, are well lit, well maintained and direct are also attractive to cyclists. Given that most cycling takes place on the road (and will continue to do so) it is essential that the road network is made more suitable for cycling. Cyclists are more likely to choose routes that enable them to keep moving. Routes that take cyclists away from their desire lines and require them to concede priority to side road traffic are less likely to be used. The aim of this strategy is to deal with all cycling trips and will address all barriers to increasing the numbers of cyclists and cycling trips across the district including cyclist safety, cycle theft and ease of use. It will also help achieve other objectives set by the Council and outside organisations. This document forms part of the Get Wakefield Cycling Action Plan that covers, events, promotion, training, sports and health. Whilst this strategy is designed to help deliver the objectives of the Wakefield Transport Strategy and Implementation Plan and the West Yorkshire Cycle Prospectus, it will also help achieve other objectives set by the Council and outside organisations. Cycling can play a vital role in improving the health of the nation. It is a good way of keeping fit and improving an individual's health, it can reduce coronary heart disease, stroke risk, cancer and diabetes, keep the musculoskeletal system healthy and promote positive mental wellbeing for a relatively small individual cost. Wakefield has nine Air Quality Management Areas, where levels of Nitrogen Oxide exceed limits for health. Most of these are located on major transport corridors and are attributed to high levels of traffic and congestion. As a zero emissions form of travel, cycling can play a role in achieving improved air quality by cutting down the numbers of cars on the road. 4

7 2. Background The Council's original Cycle Strategy, launched in 2002, set headline targets to double cycle use from 2002 to Responsibilities were identified for local authorities to contribute by setting local targets and producing strategies to develop a cycling culture. This revised strategy revises the targets and objectives of the previous version. It incorporates not only the changes to targets for casualty reduction but also alterations to national cycling targets. 3. Context This strategy does not exist in isolation, but provides a focus for action to improve conditions for cyclists drawn from a range of related policies and initiatives. In doing this it works within the framework provided by a number of national, regional and local plans and strategies, including: Wakefield Local Development Framework setting out land use policies across the district; West Yorkshire Local Transport Plan (LTP3), ( My Journey ) which provides the strategic framework for the development of the transport system within West Yorkshire and the West Yorkshire Local Transport Plan Cycle Prospectus; Wakefield Transport Strategy and Implementation Plan ; The Wakefield Right of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) The ROWIP serves as a strategy and an action plan and identifies the resources required to improve the Right of Way network; Experience Wakefield setting a strategy and action plan to support the borough's growing status as a tourism destination; School / Work place travel plans which targets individual schools and other organisations with the view to reducing levels of car use; Door to Door: A strategy for improving sustainable transport integration ; Transport 2010: The 10 year plan setting a vision for how the objectives of the white paper should be met; Walking and Cycling: An Action Plan (2004), which outlines best practice with respect to planning, infrastructure, safety and travel behaviour; Bikeability is the Cycling Proficiency test for the 21st century and is designed to give the next generation of students the skills and confidence to ride their bikes. Get Yorkshire Cycling a strategy for cycling in Yorkshire and the Humber to realise the legacy of the Grand Départ; 5

8 4. Strategy Aims and Objectives The Council views cycling as an important mode of transport because: Cycling provides a viable mode of transport for local and district journeys and when combined with public transport, also provides a flexible, practical option for longer journeys across the district and further afield; Cycling is the most sustainable form of mechanical travel that is accessible to a large proportion of the population regardless of age or income. For residents of some areas in the district, without car access, cycling can provide affordable, convenient access to employment and education opportunities and community facilities; In urban areas, cycling can be the quickest and most convenient form of transport, and requires less valuable land to be taken up for parking. Encouraging more people to cycle will bring benefits to the whole community through: Improved health through increased fitness, reduced risk of heart attack, weight control and reduced stress; Reduced noise, air pollution and congestion leading to enhancement of the local environment and quality of life; Reduced greenhouse gas emissions; Less consumption of non-renewable energy resources; Economic gains through cycle tourism and leisure. The key aims of the Cycling Strategy are: To encourage more people to cycle more often for both utility and leisure journeys and so help reduce the dependency on private cars and improve health. Develop a safe, convenient, efficient and attractive transport infrastructure that encourages and facilitates cycling, with an emphasis on segregated facilities. Reduce the casualty rate for cyclists. To ensure that policies to increase cycling and meet the needs of cyclists are integrated into all appropriate Policies, Plans, Strategies and resource bids. 6

9 5. Cycling Objectives The ultimate aim of Wakefield Council is to allow the vast majority of cycle trips to be made on safe routes and for those trips to be as convenient by cycle as they would by car. This will be done by developing safer links between the town centres and across the district. The network will eventually link all of the districts main trip destinations which include routes to and from residential areas, schools, colleges and workplaces, shops and leisure facilities. Utility trips in particular will be catered for, but leisure cycling will not be neglected as it has been shown that this can encourage future utility trips. To maximise opportunities for cyclists, the network will aim to achieve a balance between off and on road routes. This could comprise of: Segregated routes (off road tracks adjacent to the highway); Completely traffic free routes or parts of routes; Signed routes along quieter roads; On road cycle lanes together with facilities at junctions; Shared use footways as appropriate. Cycling Objectives Objective 1: Objective 2: Objective 3: Objective 4: Objective 5: Objective 6: Objective 7: Objective 8: Objective 9: Creating a Network of Cycle Routes Design Principles and Standards Cycle Safety Construction of Cycle Routes Maintenance of Cycle Routes Adopt Guidelines for Cycle Parking Standards Travel Plans Safe Routes to School / School Travel Plan Initiatives Land Use Planning Objective 10: Communication and Promotion Objective 11: Enforcement 7

10 OBJECTIVE 1 Creating a Network of Cycle Routes The Council will seek to produce a comprehensive Strategic Cycle Network Plan for the Wakefield district. The Plan will identify existing and proposed routes that are on existing roads or comprise new off road routes. Where possible, the Plan will identify key issues, timescales, priorities, costs and funding sources with regard to proposed new routes.... A prioritised network of routes has been considered as follows: Routes creating links both between the main urban areas in the district and to the main urban areas outside the district, which penetrate directly into the settlement areas; Routes to the main transport interchanges (bus and rail stations) to schools, colleges, to the main employment areas and to the main leisure and recreational facilities; Routes linking residential areas to the settlement centres; Recreational routes which link to the routes set out above; Off road cycle routes and links to sports and leisure facilities. 8

11 Working in partnership with the Wakefield District Cycle Forum, the Council will identify an aspirational network of commuter, utility and leisure routes. These will form the basis of a Cycle Network Plan for the district and tie into the aspirations for the West Yorkshire Local Transport Plan Cycle Prospectus. Sections of the network will be developed using opportunities arising from highway maintenance schemes, land reclamation schemes, new developments, canal towpaths, parks, disused railways and other tracks. The network will be designed to cater for both utility and leisure cycling. The Cycle Network Plan will be designed to provide routes for both utilitarian cyclists (people cycling for a specific purpose e.g. shopping, commuting etc) and recreational cyclists. Existing routes in the district are primarily recreational in character, linking urban areas with the countryside. Whilst these routes are also used for long distance commuting and parts are used for utilitarian purposes, there is a need to expand the network in the urban area for utilitarian cyclists. Development of the network will include the use of bus lanes and recommend routes through traffic free and lightly trafficked areas. Off road facilities, shared use paths and purpose built off road routes will be developed for utilitarian cyclists when road conditions exclude on road facilities. Such off road facilities will continue to be developed for recreational use together with recommend routes on quiet routes. Recreational routes are important in their own right for leisure, fitness and helping to promote green tourism. It is widely recognised that people who start off cycling for recreation are more likely to be persuaded to use their cycles for everyday purposes. New additions to the network will continue to develop and improve recreational facilities. Use of waterway towpaths for cycling Waterways have played an important part of Wakefield's history and as such there is a great opportunity to utilise this network to develop an extensive off road network for both cyclists and pedestrians The Council have a long standing aspiration for the Aire and Calder Navigation towpath to be surfaced and made cycleable. Most of the route between Wakefield and Castleford has been completed. As the towpath network is developed in the district, a leaflet will be produced to inform and promote the network to the general public 9

12 OBJECTIVE 2 Design Principles and Standards The Council will aim to make all cycles routes as direct as possible and easy to follow. The Council will seek to improve convenience and safety for cyclists, particularly on roads with high traffic flows. As resources permit, the Council will ensure that cycle route networks meet high standards of design.... Most cycling takes place on the road and this will continue to be the case, so it is essential that the road network is made suitable for cycling. Measures to be included in the design of all highway and cycle specific facilities will be based on the latest guidance (e.g. LTN 2/08, Sustrans and Cycle Friendly Infrastructure ). 10

13 Potential Measures Measure Traffic Reduction Traffic Calming Junction Treatment and Traffic Management Relocation of the Carriageway Cycle Lanes and Cycle Tracks Details and Considerations Can traffic volumes be reduced sufficiently to achieve the desired improvements in attractiveness and safety, can heavy lorries be restricted or can cyclists be exempted from restrictions applying to general traffic e.g. one way streets, road closures and bus lanes, where it is safe to do so. Can speeds be reduced and driver behaviour be modified to achieve the desired improvements on both urban and rural roads in a cycle friendly manner? Progress will be made to increase the number of 20mph limits in urban areas. Can the problems that cyclists encounter, particularly accident locations be solved by specific junction treatment or other traffic management solutions such as contraflow cycle lanes, advanced stop lines, toucan crossings and cycle priority phases at traffic lights. Can the carriageway be re-allocated to give more space to cyclists, perhaps in conjunction with bus priority schemes? What specific cycle lanes or tracks are necessary including shared use of suitable footways where there are no practical alternatives. All new road proposals should give full consideration to the needs of cyclists. The Council is usually a consultee in such cases, and will ensure that cyclists are given full consideration as part of any proposals. Sometimes, traffic management schemes which include proposals to narrow the carriageway or speed humps can cause problems for cyclists. The Council will ensure that cyclists are no longer disadvantaged by the development of traffic management measures. In addition, it is important that all routes are adequately signed in both directions such that users do not have to resort to the use of a map. The design of measures to assist cycling will be sensitive to the needs and well being of pedestrians and people with mobility difficulties. This is of particular importance where the possibility of cyclists sharing space with pedestrians is being considered. 11

14 OBJECTIVE 3 Cycle Safety The Council will increase the safety of cyclists by minimising the potential for any conflict which might arise between cyclists and other road users as a result of highway design. The Council will also continue to provide training and awareness to improve cycle safety.... The Council is committed to reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured by 50% by Although the numbers of reported accidents of cyclists is low, we will aim to reduce conflict by promoting considerate cycling. A variety of research projects have indicated that a high proportion of crashes in which cyclists are injured are not reported to the Police, although cyclists receive medical treatment, either in hospital, or more usually at their local GP. Alongside the intention to develop and encourage cycling, sits the requirement to modify the environment so that cycling becomes safer. Many people are put off from cycling because of the perceived and real dangers from other traffic. Road safety measures including advanced stop lines, cycle lanes, bus/cycle lanes and speed control measures will be implemented on the existing highway network to reduce the number of accidents involving cyclists. The opportunity to introduce such measures can be taken when an assessment of accident statistics justifies the necessity for a Route Action Plan, Area Action Plan or single Road Safety Scheme. A cycle audit for all highway schemes will be carried out at each stage of design and implementation to ensure that, wherever possible, the opportunity is taken to improve facilities for cyclists and, at a minimum, no measures are taken which serve to discourage cycle use. 12

15 OBJECTIVE 4 Construction of Cycle Routes Cycle routes within the district will be constructed in line with the standards set out in Appendix C of this document. These standards will only be varied in exceptional circumstances or where local circumstances mean variations are in the best overall interests of cycle provision and after full consultation.... The standards of construction and maintenance of cycle routes is central to the ability of a route to attract and continue to attract cyclists. A sub-standard route, or one that quickly falls into disrepair, is unlikely to encourage more people to cycle. It is important to be clear about the quality of facilities that cyclists should be able to expect when riding in the district. Facilities will be designed to high standards, minimising future maintenance liabilities. Cycle tracks will be adopted and provided where they are constructed to appropriate standards, perform legitimate transport functions and create useful links to the network. 13

16 OBJECTIVE 5 Maintenance of Cycle Routes The Council will ensure that the designated cycle routes are adequately maintained within the resources available. We recognise that good maintenance of cycle routes is essential if we are to encourage increased cycle use. A constant source of irritation for cyclists is where cycle lanes are not adequately maintained, thus pushing the cyclist back onto the main road. This clearly destroys the purpose of the cycle lane and is counter productive. There are a number of areas that need to be improved, including surfacing, sweeping and landscape growth. The surface conditions will tend to affect cyclists to a far greater extent than motorists and can result in a safety hazard for cyclists.... The Council has appropriate standards for the inspection, maintenance and repair of the following types of cycle route: 1. Cycle routes within adopted highways including shared use paths. 2. Cycle routes that have been built to the adopted highway standards. 3. Cycle routes in rural areas or with low usage rates. These standards are set out in Appendix C of this document. 14

17 OBJECTIVE 6 Adopt Guidelines for Cycle Parking Standards Cycle Parking Standards listing detailed design requirements has been adopted as policy and published within the adopted Street Design Guide. The Council's cycle parking standards, which are shown in Appendix B, will form the basis of the Local Development Framework cycling accessibility standards. Parking should be provided at retail centres, public transport interchanges, leisure facilities and other major journey attractors. Employers will be encouraged to provide workplace cycle parking. Many potential cyclists are deterred from riding a bicycle through fear of having their bikes stolen. However, carefully planned provision of secure parking facilities can do much to encourage new users and make existing cyclists more confident about leaving their bicycles.... The level of cycle parking provision needed depends upon the type of development. Facilities for cycle parking and the type to be provided in new and re- developments should be in line with the Council's parking standards. Cycle parking should also provide security for bikes, convenience for the cyclist and an indication to the public that cyclists are welcomed. To this end, cycle parking should be provided in prominent locations close to entrances of public places, rather than on left over plots at the rear. The parking should be in view of the building entrance so that it benefits from casual, as well as formal surveillance. 15

18 OBJECTIVE 7 Travel Plans The Council will ensure that Travel Plans implemented as part of the planning process will secure measures to promote cycling in the workplace and in residential developments. Travel Plans are site or organisation specific initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable travel through increased use of public transport, cycling and walking with the aim of reducing the need to travel by car. The use of Travel Plans will form an essential part of the Cycle Infrastructure Strategy for Wakefield.... Measures to promote cycling in Travel Plans should include consideration of the need for: Increased levels of secure, conveniently placed cycle parking; Provision of dedicated shower / changing facilities; Cycle mileage allowances and the loans for the purchase of bikes through the National Cycle to Work scheme; The provision and / or upgrading of links to the local cycle network including highway quality signing; Providing staff with cycle training opportunities (e.g. through go:cycling). The Travel Plans will also set out targets for the increase in cycle travel. Wakefield Council will set an example as a cycle friendly employer and will actively encourage developers to adopt Travel Plans that promote cycling as an alternative mode of transport. 16

19 OBJECTIVE 8 Safe Routes to School / School Travel Plan Initiatives The Council will work with schools to encourage and facilitate safe cycling and promote cycling as part of the safer routes to schools / school travel plan initiative. The promotion of Safe Routes to School forms an integral part of the Governments' Strategy. For Wakefield District, measures are to be implemented to improve access to schools with regard to the following hierarchy of road users: Pedestrians Cyclists Public transport users Private car users... The Council will continue its work with School Travel Plans aimed at promoting sustainable travel to and from school. Schools involved in the programme will target a 10% reduction in private car trips within three years of introducing a school travel plan. Data will be collected four times a year to give a better indication of cycle use. Over the next few years the Council will be running the BikeFest scheme. This will initially be launched in secondary schools but will be cascaded to primary schools. A successful Safer Routes project is more than just implementing engineering measures. These should also include providing secure cycle parking facilities and cycle training in addition to physical safety improvements to the highway. Publicity to promote the benefits of cycling should also be carried out particularly aspects such as improved fitness and independent mobility for school children. Close cooperation with school staff, governing bodies, children and their parents will be essential to ensure that the School Travel Plan is a success. These measures will go some way to alleviating the problems caused by the "school run" in terms of traffic congestion, pollution and safety. Encouraging cycling to and from school provides individuals with improved fitness, increased independent mobility and reduces the negative impacts caused by vehicular traffic at and around schools and colleges. 17

20 OBJECTIVE 9 Land Use Planning The Council will seek to ensure that land use planning policies and planning decisions allow for and encourage cycling. The Council will ensure that all new development incorporates sustainable travel choices for people who live in, work at or just visit the completed development, in accordance with the policies and standards set out in Appendix A and Appendix B. The accessibility of a site by public transport, by cycle or on foot is now a relevant consideration in determining permission for many new developments. In addition to the points set out below, developments over certain agreed sizes will also require the implementation of a travel plan for the site. New development proposals should: Provide secure, well located cycle parking for residents, employees and visitors in accordance with the standards set out in Appendix B; Avoid the severance of existing cycle routes, unless a suitable alternative provision can be made as part of the development.... Where new development has the potential to attract or generate a significant number of cycle trips the following should be identified as part of the planning application: The main cycle routes to and through the development; Links to the core cycle network; For residential development, links to local services, including shops, leisure centres, GP surgeries, schools and local employment. Where existing cycle links are inadequate, an appropriate contribution will be sought from the developer for the provision and upkeep of the local cycle network. Core Strategy Policy CS4: Sustainable Transport, Development Policy D9: Design of New Development and Development Policy D14: Access and Highway Safety of the Local Development Framework, set out the Council's policies in relation to facilities for cycling in new developments and are reproduced in Appendix A. These policies will be given full weight when the Council considers planning applications for a new development. The current Local Development Framework policies, together with the Street Design Guide will greatly assist with the Cycle Strategy. The use of S106 monies and commuted sums to provide the transport infrastructure to aid cyclists will also be an important source of funding for cycle friendly infrastructure. 18

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