Friday 27 January 2012

Space Reallocation - An Example in Britain

Cycling Embassy of Britain is asking cycling policy activists to contribute to their debate about infrastructure this weekend, and we are happy to help as much as we can.

There is a very interesting and successful example in Britain, in the city of Hull: Here they dared to take considerable space away from cars by re-organising dual carriage ways: “The project involved reallocating road space on seven busy roads within the city through the introduction of cycle lanes. This was achieved by removing one lane of traffic in each direction which was then replaced by a cycle lane and parking bays.” They also allowed cyclists clear priority at junctions. That was not expensive but they were able to raise the number of cyclists considerably by 100 % in the same year as its installation and to reduce accidents by 55%.

The quality of these cycle lanes is not necessarily the best. But the point of this example is the amount of road space that has been taken from motorised traffic and reallocated to cycling. The allocation of road space is a key factor in any infrastructure development, and as cycling advocates are well aware, the UK’s track record on this is pretty poor. Here in Hull we have an example that shows that even in the UK reallocation of space is possible.

If you want to read more and see pictures, look at this short paper by Hull City Council and Cycling England about one of the roads:

There is also a report by SQW Consulting to Cycling England from December 2008, where they compare five different projects in England but Hull gets the best results:

The Hull project is described on pages 30 and 48 to 50, and for a better assessment of the results see page 39.