North Yorkshire County Council to produce cycling route map

North Yorkshire County Council has revealed it is mapping all non-public right of way cycle routes for the first time to make it easier for people to swap their cars for their bikes.

The authority’s highways team is set to produce a cycling route map spanning England’s largest county while also examining moves such as segregating road users as sweeping Highway Code changes are introduced to make cycling easier and safer.

The announcements follow the authority being inundated with proposals for cycle route schemes from residents and community groups after the authority received £1m from Department for Transport Active Travel Fund last year to improve the infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians.

Despite numerous calls for action to enable active travel in rural areas, the council said it would focus the funding on large towns such as Harrogate as greater populations meant better value for money.

A meeting of the county’s Local Access Forum heard safety concerns continued to be a major issue in whether people chose to cycle and that the government was trying to discourage segregating cyclists by using white lines, “given that white lines don’t do anything to protect cyclists”.

Instead, highway officers said, the authority was now moving towards physically segregating cyclists and motorists, but it was a more expensive than simply using white lines and would “not happen overnight”.

The forum’s chairman, Paul Sherwood, said action was needed to improve roads for cyclists. He said: “Is the highways section of the county council aware of the incredibly dangerous situation of the appallingly maintained roads in which cycling is extremely hazardous in the way the roads are at the moment?”

Officers replied that the roads were subject to a scheduled programme of inspections and the council was looking to gain extra funding through property developers’ contributions for safety improvements. The meeting heard the availability of funding could increase when the forthcoming unitary authority controls most of the county’s planning matters.

The meeting was told it was hoped a county-wide map of non-public right of way routes would make it easier for cyclists to plan.

An officer said: “We recognise it is not that easy to find out where those routes are. We are moving towards making that more accessible.”

The meeting heard the authority would be taking into account the HIghway Code changes, in which cyclists are encouraged to cycle in the middle of the road, but the changes were unlikely to impact on the design for cycling infrastructure.

Councillors were told the council would examine schemes such as one introduced in parts of York where bollards have been placed at the side of the road to segregate cyclists and motorists, which had increased safety for cyclists while the narrowing of the road had slowed traffic.


1 Comment

  1. I wouldn’t bother. All that money spent a number of years ago in Catterick Garrison on separate cycle ways, completely separated from road traffic, throughout the garrison and they are only used by little children with their parents. Every other cyclist insist on using the road. They must think it’s beneath them to use them and won’t do their street cred any good. the worst culprits are the lycra clad wona-be’s who ride around in packs with no respect for ANY other road user. Curtesy and respect for other road users is a two way thing!!!

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