Government has an ambition that by 2040 cycling and walking should be the natural choices for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey. Or, as it puts it: ‘a world in which a 12 year old can cycle and walk safely’.
Local authorities can help to achieve the Government’s vision by adopting the UKRLG’s ‘Well-managed Highway Infrastructure’ guidance published two years ago.
In November 2018, as part of its Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy, the Government noted: ‘The Code highlights further guidance in respect to street design and links to other guidance with respect to cycling infrastructure’.
It also makes clear that highway authorities, when planning for highway maintenance, should take into account and add value to other elements of local transport policy and strategy wherever possible.
This includes supporting economic growth, regeneration, public health, resilience, emergency services, walking and cycling, bus and freight partnerships, as well as casualty reduction and prevention, travel planning, safer routes to school, and routes to stations and other interchange facilities.
One element, sometimes neglected, is just how vital good asset management is to supporting walking and cycling. Given this, the UKRLG aimed to address the gap by producing a series of guidance documents last year.
They included the publication of: ‘Asset management guidance for footways and cycle routes: Pavement design and maintenance’; ‘Asset management guidance for footways and cycle routes: An approach to risk based maintenance management’; and ‘Cycle service levels and condition assessment’. (see Transportation Professional’s May edition).
It was very welcome to hear the Government recently say that it ‘will promote the UK Roads Liaison Group’s Code of Practice to highway authorities to improve maintenance of highways for cyclists and pedestrians’.