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Painted cycle lanes ‘a waste of money’

21 June 2019

The Government should stop funding painted cycle lanes and adopt minimum standards for cycle infrastructure, active travel commissioners said this week.

In an open letter to transport secretary Chris Grayling, the commissioners say: “Across Britain, hundreds of millions of pounds have been spent and continue to be spent on road ‘improvement’ projects which involve only painted cycle lanes as a gesture towards catering for cycling.” Evidence “confirms” the schemes are “insufficient to make people feel safer”.

The commissioners want long-term devolved funding for active travel. Revenues from fixed penalty notices for driving offences should be retained locally to fund road danger reduction measures, they suggest.

Traffic regulations should be kept under review – they cite the case for zebra markings on side road junctions, something that Greater Manchester wants (LTT      12 Apr). Guidance on walking speeds at pedestrian crossings should be reviewed to give pedestrians longer to cross. 

Appraisal should be revamped “to focus on efficient use of road space and total people movement, rather than capacity and journey times for vehicles”.

The letter’s signatories are: Chris Boardman, Greater Manchester’s walking and cycling commissioner; Shanaze Reade, the West Midlands cycling ambassador; Lee Craigie, active nation commissioner for Scotland; Liam Robinson, chair of the Liverpool city region combined authority’s transport committee; Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner; Dame Sarah Storey, active travel commissioner for the Sheffield City Region; and Liverpool’s cycling champion, Simon O’Brien.

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