Cycle Route Audit Tool
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Key RequirementFactorDesign PrincipleIndicatorsCritical (0)0 (Red)1 (Amber)2 (Green)ScoreComments
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CohesionConnectionsCyclists should be able to easily and safely join and navigate along different sections of the same route and between different routes in the network.1. Ability to join/leave route safely and easily: consider left and right turnsCyclists cannot connect to other routes without dismountingCyclists can connect to other routes with minimal disruption to their journeyCyclists have dedicated connections to other routes provided, with no interruption to their journey
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Continuity and WayfindingRoutes should be complete with no gaps in provision. ‘End of route’ signs should not be installed - cyclists should be shown how the route continues. Cyclists should not be ‘abandoned’, particularly at junctions where provision may be required to ensure safe crossing movements.2.Provision for cyclists throughout the whole length of the routeCyclists are 'abandoned' at points along the route with no clear indication of how to continue their journey.The route is made up of discrete sections, but cyclists can clearly understand how to navigate between them, including through junctions.Cyclists are provided with a continuous route, including through junctions
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Density of networkCycle networks should provide a mesh (or grid) of routes across the town or city. The density of the network is the distance between the routes which make up the grid pattern. The ultimate aim should be a network with a mesh width of 250m.3.Density of routes based on mesh width ie distances between primary and secondary routes within the networkRoute contributes to a network density mesh width >1000Route contributes to a network density mesh width 250 - 1000mRoute contributes to a network density mesh width <250m
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DirectnessDistanceRoutes should follow the shortest option available and be as near to the ‘as-the-crow-flies’ distance as possible.4.Deviation of route

Deviation Factor is calculated by dividing the actual distance along the route by the straight line (crow-fly) distance, or shortest road alternative.
Deviation factor against straight line or shortest road alternative >1.4Deviation factor against straight line or shortest road alternative 1.2 – 1.4Deviation factor against straight line or shortest road alternative <1.2
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Time: Frequency of required stops or give waysThe number of times a cyclist has to stop or loses right of way on a route should be minimised. This includes stopping and give ways at junctions or crossings, motorcycle barriers, pedestrian-only zones etc.5.Stopping and give way frequencyThe number of stops or give ways on the route is more than 4 per kmThe number of stops or give ways on the route is between 2 and 4 per kmThe number of stops or give ways on the route is less than 2 per km
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Time: Delay at junctionsThe length of delay caused by junctions should be minimised. This includes assessing impact of multiple or single stage crossings, signal timings, toucan crossings etc.6.Delay at junctionsDelay for cyclists at junctions is greater than for motor vehiclesDelay for cyclists at junctions is similar to delay for motor vehiclesDelay is shorter than for motor vehicles or cyclists are not required to stop at junctions (eg bypass at signals)
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Time: Delay on linksThe length of delay caused by not being able to bypass slow moving traffic.7.Ability to maintain own speed on linksCyclists travel at speed of slowest vehicle (including a cycle) aheadCyclists can usually pass slow traffic and other cyclistsCyclists can always choose an appropriate speed.
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GradientsRoutes should avoid steep gradients where possible. Uphill sections increase time, effort and discomfort. Where these are encountered, routes should be planned to minimise climbing gradient and allow users to retain momentum gained on the descent.8.GradientRoute includes sections steeper than the gradients recommended in Figure 4.4There are no sections of route steeper than the gradients recommended in Figure 4.4There are no sections of route which steeper than 2%
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SafetyReduce/remove speed differences where cyclists are sharing the carriagewayWhere cyclists and motor vehicles are sharing the carriageway, the key to reducing severity of collisions is reducing the speeds of motor vehicles so that they more closely match that of cyclists. This is particularly important at points where risk of collision is greater, such as at junctions.9.Motor traffic speed on approach and through junctions where cyclists are sharing the carriageway through the junction85th percentile > 37mph (60kph)85th percentile >30mph85th percentile 20mph-30mph85th percentile <20mph
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10.Motor traffic speed on sections of shared carriageway85th percentile > 37mph (60kph)85th percentile >30mph85th percentile 20mph-30mph85th percentile <20mph
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Avoid high motor traffic volumes where cyclists are sharing the carriagewayCyclists should not be required to share the carriageway with high volumes of motor vehicles. This is particularly important at points where risk of collision is greater, such as at junctions.11.Motor traffic volume on sections of shared carriageway, expressed as vehicles per peak hour>10000 AADT, or >5% HGV5000-10000 AADT and 2-5%HGV2500-5000 and <2% HGV0-2500 AADT
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Risk of collisionWhere speed differences and high motor vehicle flows cannot be reduced cyclists should be separated from traffic – see Table 6.2 (in the guidance notes sheet). This separation can be achieved at varying degrees through on-road cycle lanes, hybrid tracks and off-road provision. Such segregation should reduce the risk of collision from beside or behind the cyclist.12.Segregation to reduce risk of collision alongside or from behindCyclists sharing carriageway - nearside lane in critical range between 3.2m and 3.9m wide and traffic volumes prevent motor vehicles moving easily into opposite lane to pass cyclists.Cyclists in unrestricted traffic lanes outside critical range (3.2m to 3.9m) or in cycle lanes less than 1.8m wide.Cyclists in cycle lanes at least 1.8m wide on carriageway; 85th percentile motor traffic speed max 30mph.Cyclists on route away from motor traffic (off road provision) or in off-carriageway cycle track. Cyclists in hybrid/light segregated track; 85th percentile motor traffic speed max 30mph.
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A high proportion of collisions involving cyclists occur at junctions.
Junctions therefore need particular attention to reduce the risk of collision. Junction treatments include:
Minor/side roads - cyclist priority and/or speed reduction across side roads
Major roads - separation of cyclists from motor traffic through junctions.
13.Conflicting movements at junctionsSide road junctions frequent and/ or untreated. Major junctions, conflicting cycle/ motor traffic movements not separatedSide road junctions infrequent and with effective entry treatments. Major junctions, principal conflicting cycle/motor traffic movements separated.Side roads closed or treated to blend in with footway.Major junctions, all conflicting cycle/motor traffic streams separated.
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Avoid complex designAvoid complex designs which require users to process large amounts of information. Good network design should be self-explanatory and self-evident to all road users. All users should understand where they and other road users should be and what movements they might make.14.Legible road markings and road layoutFaded, old, unclear, complex road markings/unclear or unfamiliar road layoutGenerally legible road markings and road layout but some elements could be improvedClear, understandable, simple road markings and road layout
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Consider and reduce risk from kerbside activityRoutes should be assessed in terms of all multi-functional uses of a street including car parking, bus stops, parking, including collision with opened door.15.Conflict with kerbside activityNarrow cycle lanes <1.5m or less (including any buffer) alongside parking/loadingSignificant conflict with kerbside activity (eg nearside cycle lane < 2m (including buffer) wide alongside kerbside parking)Some conflict with kerbside activity - eg less frequent activity on nearside of cyclists, min 2m cycle lanes including buffer.No/very limited conflict with kerbside activity or width of cycle lane including buffer exceeds 3m.
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Reduce severity of collisions where they do occurWherever possible routes should include “evasion room” (such as grass verges) and avoid any unnecessary physical hazards such as guardrail, build outs, etc. to reduce the severity of a collision should it occur.16.Evasion room and unnecessary hazardsCyclists at risk of being trapped by physical hazards along more than half of the route.The number of physical hazards could be further reducedThe route includes evasion room and avoids any physical hazards.
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ComfortSurface qualityDensity of defects including non cycle friendly ironworks, raised/sunken covers/gullies, potholes, poor quality carriageway paint (eg from previous cycle lane)17.Major and minor defectsNumerous minor defects or any number of major defectsMinor and occasional defectsSmooth high grip surface
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Pavement or carriageway construction providing smooth and level surface18.Surface typeAny bumpy, unbound, slippery, and potentially hazardous surface.Hand-laid materials, concrete paviours with frequent joints.Machine laid smooth and non-slip surface - eg Thin Surfacing, or firm and closely jointed blocks undisturbed by turning heavy vehicles.
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Effective width without conflictCyclists should be able to comfortably cycle without risk of conflict with other users both on and off road.19.Desirable minimum widths according to volume of cyclists and route type (where cyclists are separated from motor vehicles).More than 25% of the route includes cycle provision with widths which are no more than 25% below desirable minimum values.No more than 25% of the route includes cycle provision with widths which are no more than 25% below desirable minimumRecommended widths are maintained throughout whole route
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WayfindingNon-local cyclists should be able to navigate the routes without the need to refer to maps.20.SigningRoute signing is poor with signs missing at key decision points.Gaps identified in route signing which could be improvedRoute is well signed with signs located at all decision points and junctions
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AttractivenessSocial safety and perceived vulnerability of userRoutes should be appealing and be perceived as safe and usable. Well used, well maintained, lit, overlooked routes are more attractive and therefore more likely to be used.21.LightingMost or all of route is unlitShort and infrequent unlit/poorly lit sectionsRoute is lit to highway standards throughout
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22.IsolationRoute is generally away from activityRoute is mainly overlooked and is not far from activity throughout its lengthRoute is overlooked throughout its length
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Impact on pedestrians, including people with disabilitiesIntroduction of dedicated on-road cycle provision can enable people to cycle on-road rather than using footways which are not suitable for shared use. Introducing cycling onto well-used footpaths may reduce the quality of provision for both users, particularly if the shared use path does not meet recommended widths.23.Impact on pedestrians, Pedestrian Comfort Level based on Pedestrian Comfort guide for London (Section 4.7)Route impacts negatively on pedestrian provision, Pedestrian Comfort is at Level C or below.No impact on pedestrian provision or Pedestrian Comfort Level remains at B or above.Pedestrian provision enhanced by cycling provision, or Pedestrian Comfort Level remains at A
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Minimise street clutterSigning required to support scheme layout24.Signs informative and consistent but not overbearing or of inappropriate sizeLarge number of signs needed, difficult to follow and/or leading to clutterModerate amount of signing particularly around junctions.Signing for wayfinding purposes only and not causing additional obstruction.
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Secure cycle parkingEase of access to secure cycle parking within businesses and on street25. Evidence of bicycles parked to street furniture or cycle standsNo additional cycle parking provided or inadequate provision in insecure nonoverlooked areasSome secure cycle parking provided but not enough to meet demandSecure cycle parking provided, sufficient to meet demand
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