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12 January 2018

UK Cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians need roads with them in mind

First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com

Cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians would prefer improvements on Highways England's (HE's) road network to be open to all types of user – but safely, with areas of greater risk identified and appropriate interventions made, according to a new report from Transport Focus (TF). The independent watchdog engaged with these road users across the UK who stressed the importance of the network in affecting their everyday lives.

Key findings showed that safety is of crucial importance to all three groups when interacting with the network; whether crossing or travelling along it. Research on its usage indicates that 5% of those who cycle regularly, and 14% of those who walk, will go on, next to, or across motorways or major A roads when they do these activities. The primary concern for pedestrians was on the lack of footpaths, especially in more rural areas. In addition, these users have also stated that they are willing to take part in further research into their needs and concerns.

TF will now carry out a new survey to measure the level of satisfaction with journeys among cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians, which will be piloted in two areas of the UK later this year. It is based on the report’s conclusion that are enough cyclists and pedestrians that use the network to make a quantitative satisfaction survey feasible. The views of equestrians can be gathered qualitatively due to their small numbers.

These road users are from Dover, Manchester, Newcastle, Shoreham, York, Didcot, Lowestoft and Hastings.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of TF, said: “Our new survey will help improve understanding cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians’ priorities and make sure England’s major roads are not a barrier to their journeys. This insight should help Highways England and the Government to focus investment and effort on things that make a real difference for these road users”, Smith added.

A copy of the report can be found here.

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