Cycling is a vital form of mass transit across the UK that is dependent on effective cycling infrastructure, systems that seek to enhance accessibility for all and remove hazards that deter cycling. One popular and effective method is the implementation of segregated cycle lanes. But how can the humble bollard assist in this?
Through either commute or leisure, the UK’s desire to cycle is as strong as ever. In recent years, people on average are making longer, more frequent trips and the benefits speak for themselves. Cycling is an excellent form of exercise, a quicker way to commute in congested urban areas and also a valid method of combatting greenhouse gas emissions. However, cyclists remain highly vulnerable on British roads and more needs to be done to improve safety.
Charity organisation, Cycling UK, believes the biggest barrier to cycling in the UK is that our streets and communities are not designed to make active travel feel safe and easy, delivering this requires investment to build segregated cycle lanes and create an environment where people feel that it’s safe and pleasant to cycle.*
Figures from the government’s 2019 National Travel Attitudes Study show that 66% of adults in England feel it was too dangerous to cycle on roads.*
Segregated Cycling is cycling on dedicated tracks or cycleways that are separated from the general traffic by lane markings or physical barriers. Within the lane, there are usually two sections for each direction of cycle traffic, using bicycle symbols or physical properties to signify each section's direction of flow. Cycle lanes can be found situated adjacent to highways or on their own dedicated cycling pathway.
Advantages of Cycle Lane Segregation
- Allows cyclists and motor vehicles to travel simultaneously in a safe system whilst avoiding each other and reducing the risk of accidents.
- Can provide a greater sense of security to cyclists, encouraging people to switch from car to cycling.
- Independence from vehicular congestion enables a good cruising speed where cyclists will encounter fewer obstacles - meaning improved reliability of journey times.
Five Needs of the CyclistAccording to the UK Government’s Local Transport Note (LTN 1/20) on Cycle Infrastructure Design, cycle routes should be Coherent; Direct; Safe; Comfortable and Attractive. They recommend that inclusive design and accessibility should run through all five principles.
CoherentRoutes should be designed with a complete network in mind so that people can navigate and reach their destinations easily and effortlessly. Ensure arrangements and designs are consistently logical and won’t take users away from other connecting routes.
DirectRoutes should flow as much as possible, meaning users aren’t going any extra distance or stopping and starting frequently. Getting users from A to B in the least amount of time possible is a critical success factor.
SafeA high priority factor. Reducing danger and eliminating any potential hazards that may arise can encourage more people to cycle. Such things as providing extra space from road traffic, or removing unnecessary guard rails in order to prevent a collision will increase safety.
ComfortableGood quality, adequate width and smooth surfaces can go a long way in the success of the route. Make the journey as enjoyable or convenient as possible.
AttractiveInfrastructure that people want to spend time travelling on can speak for itself. Well-designed and aesthetically pleasing materials that are clear and legible make the route easier for cyclists and motor vehicle drivers to distinguish from other road signs.
Guiding the Way with Glasdon
Whilst lane segregation can be achieved with other physical barriers such as kerbs, verges, planters and plinths, a highly effective and popular choice is the use of Cyle Lane Bollards and Delineators.
Cycle lane bollards and delineator posts are used to warn, inform and of course, protect cyclists and pedestrians. They can clearly highlight the separation point between cycle and motor traffic for both cyclists and motorists, increasing safety levels and reducing the risk of accidents. They also provide the least expensive method of creating effective segregation and cycle infrastructure, easily placed and also replaceable at a much lower cost compared to different physical barriers such as concrete solutions.
In order for them to take effect and sufficiently perform the task required of them, cycle lane bollards should:
- Be more than one metre apart to allow cyclists with disabilities or larger bicycles, tricycles and trailers to pass easily between them, especially at route entrances.
- Be placed in clearly visible and well-lit places so they can be instantaneously noticeable and recognisable to both cyclists and motor vehicle drivers.
- Be retroreflective to aid in visibility during night and various weather conditions.
- Not impede or conflict between cyclists and pedestrians – avoid clustering bollards that serve no useful purpose.
- Be informative - physical highway safety measures that integrate as much information as possible can go a long way in creating a successful cycle route.
Sign-carrying bollards positioned at the start and end of the layout are an ideal solution to indicating lane segregation and the rules in effect. Such rules as direction and priority flow, or whether they are sharing the lane with pedestrians. Our Cyclemaster™ Bollard can carry up to 6 sign faces. Standard sign face options as shown here (1 - 7) with 8 & 9 demonstrating examples of personalised graphics.
Here, these Mini-Ensign™ Bollards are appropriately spaced out to allow more than enough width for all types of cyclists to access the route.
Here these Ensign™ Bollards have been positioned in an open space, clear of any overhanging trees, obtrusive landmarks or utilities.
A highly visible cycle route marking bollard, the Cyclemaster™ Bollard perfectly demonstrates its capabilities to reflect headlights and provide guidance during night time, something that all cycle lane bollards should aim to incorporate in order to maximise safety.
Our Neopolitan™ Delineator Post has been arranged here in such a manner that there is space on either side to account for both users, offering a straight and direct route with no obstacles.
Socket Systems and Bolt Down Fixing Options
Bollards and delineators benefit from options to allow quick and easy removal and replacement for scenarios where bollards may be considered a problem if permanently fixed.
Glasdon bollards are suitable for permanent, semi-permanent or temporary applications, making use of an array of surface and below-ground fixing options.
Before selecting the bollard fixing for your installation, review the considerations listed in our Guide to Fixing Options for Glasdon Bollards.
To conclude, with more cyclists on the roads than ever, it is important to consider infrastructure options that safeguard cyclists and other road users, whilst encouraging new and existing cyclists to take up cycling.