Make cycling better – four considerations

There are a variety of schemes that can be used to improve transport infrastructure for cycling. The options chosen depend on the environment that is being improved. Like pedestrians, consideration should be made to ensure that the route is as direct as possible, reflecting the desire lines that pedestrians and cyclists will take.

An important aspect is the difference in attainable speeds on the infrastructure. For example, a busy 50mph road would support a fully segregated cycle lane with traffic lights and bridges where cyclists need to cross the road. A quiet 20mph road could support cyclists mixing with cars, with tighter junctions to support areas where potentially cyclists and cars mix.

Each situation should be considered on a case by case basis.
There are many methods for improving cycling infrastructure. However, they can fall into four categories.


This can include specific lanes provided at the side of the road. Some are painted and others are separate to the road with physical infrastructure. Some of these can be withflow, contra flow or separate cycle roads that create traffic free routes.
This can occur when the cycle lanes meet a junction, with bridges and subways being an option.

Tighter junctions

To improve sightlines and lower speeds, junctions can be constrained by narrowing them. This creates uncertainty and difficulty negotiating the junction, which helps to reduce speeds. It also places cyclists and vehicles at a 90 degree angle, improving visibility, which reduces the likelihood of accidents.

Traffic lights

Traffic lights can be installed at large junctions and cyclists can be prioritised through them using special lanes, advanced stop boxes and special cycle phases through the junction.


Reducing the speed differential between cyclists and motor vehicles can help support safety. It reduces concerns expressed by cyclists and provides drivers with more time to react to any issues that they encounter.