Cycle Tourism and Greenway Development specialist
Walking and cycling are pollution-free, great for one’s health and wellbeing and good for the environment; both are ideal pleasurable ways of travelling slowly and sustainably across scenic landscapes, visiting interesting places and bonding with localities.
A Greenway is a trail which can be found in both urban and rural settings that is frequently created out of a disused railway, canal towpath , utility or similar right of way , or derelict industrial land. Rail trails are one of the most common forms of Greenway. Sometimes a Greenway is a linear park or wildlife corridor .
Sustainable transport means walking and cycling. Substituting short car journeys by walking and cycling is good for one’s health and wellbeing and adding to one’s quality of life. Both bring about the reduction of air pollution, road danger, severance and delay (being cut off by traffic flow and traffic volume), noise pollution and the dominance of the car in built-up areas.
Cycle routes have to be planned. There are 5 key aspects of route quality that should be taken into account when designing and building cycle facilities:
Safety / Coherence / Directness / Attractiveness / Comfort
There are 5 key measures that cycle route designers should consider when reviewing route options and this ‘Hierarchy of Measures’ is outlined below:
Hierarchy of Measures
- Traffic reduction – reducing traffic volume increases the safety factor for cyclists whilst at the same time being of benefit to local people, especially pedestrians, but it also encourages modal shift.
- Traffic calming – reducing traffic speed has measurable and significant safety benefits for all users (including car occupants) but it also offers other benefits in terms of increased safety and reduced pollution.
- Junction treatment – junctions are the location of most cycle accidents and delays.
- Reallocation of space on the carriageway – these include bus lanes, vehicle restricted areas and cycle lanes.
- Off-road solutions – cycle tracks are very beneficial in the right locations particularly to less confident cyclists, families and elderly people. Elsewhere they provide cyclists with a less than ideal facility which may be risky to join and / or leave and can give rise to the possibility of conflict with pedestrians.
Route review involves assessing route safety, quality and suitability.
Route signing and waymarking is so important. Note: signs are the hardware placed on highways whereas waymarking is the means to show route direction on route sections that are off-road. Working out what should go where, sizes and quantities is a skill.
Access to the countryside is everyone’s right. Countryside access in Scotland is as good as it gets. Wales is currently making great strides to simply and improve access to, and through, the countryside whereas England’s access rules continue to be unfit for purpose. Advocating and negotiating for better access is a skill.
Cycle route maps, guidebooks, leaflets and increasingly websites are the prime means of promoting cycle routes. This website lists many of my publications which I have produced or compiled over the last 25 years. These include 2 guidebooks out of print. One guidebook now its in its second reprint, 2 guidebooks in production with third in the pipeline and 27 cycle route maps.
The urban / rural fringe faces two directions – into the countryside and into the towns and cities where people live. Linking the two can be surprisingly complex often beset with the challenges some parts of communities choose to pass on.
Rural access networks can take on a variety of forms. Avoiding sensitive sites and areas as well as farming centres and dwellings is really important.
Returning countryside for the better after land works of any size is highly desirable and always an opportunity to provide better access and / or improved habitat management. Large schemes inevitably have to provide future management and legacy plans which can either be barely adequate or visionary in all aspects. The latter is only option worth considering.