Designing Cycling for People: Applying the Principles of Cycling by Design 2010 Using the New Cycle Audit Process

Designing Cycling for People: Applying the Principles of Cycling by Design 2010 Using the New Cycle Audit Process


R Llewellyn, A Mulholland, Halcrow, UK


Getting people cycling is about understanding the need to design quality experiences in everyday activities. The principles of doing this are set out in Cycling by Design 2010, along with how to apply them in specific situations. The key to ensuring tha


Scotland currently lags behind several of its similar European neighbours in both cycling provision and the health and activity of its population. The Cycling Action Plan for Scotland recognises this and aims to develop cycling as a key mode of transport within the country.

Infrastructure and traffic issues are almost always identified by the public as the main barriers to cycling. It could be argued that this is a perception that could be overcome by promotional measures and education, however there can be little doubt that better infrastructure is a significant element of attracting people to cycling.

However within the transportation industry generally, the user needs of cyclists are often poorly understood and not applied as a matter of course. To get more people cycling more often, it is essential that professionals ensure that all infrastructure projects incorporate the needs of cyclists and ideally prioritise over other modes.

As trunk road authority, Transport Scotland has a major part to play in this and has recognised its role through its Trunk Road Cycling Initiative and the publication of the original Cycling by Design guidance and its recent update in 2010. The new Cycling by Design guidance has taken on board the experiences of the past decade in terms of infrastructure development and best practice. In addition, it has been updated to reflect the latest UK and Scottish legislation.

The Cycle Audit process is seen as key to ensuring that the good practice within Cycling by Design is adopted by design teams. The process also ensures that the link between user needs and the infrastructure delivered is maintained. The new Cycle Audit process is a requirement on Trunk Road projects; however, it can be equally applied to the local roads situation and to new developments.

This paper discusses the context in which Scotland currently sits with regard to cycling when compared with its European neighbours. It looks at the changes to best practice and legislation since the original publication of Cycling by Design in 1999. The revised document itself is described, with specific emphasis on the Cycle Audit system and its application, and why it is considered so important in the design process going forward.


Association for European Transport