British Cycling has appointed its first infrastructure expert to act as a consultant on cycle-proofing road layouts, junctions and route design.
Adrian Lord, a transport consultant for 18 years, has previously worked for Cycling England – abolished by the Coalition Government shortly after it came to power in 2010 – and the Department of Transport (DfT).
He will now turn his hand to interacting with the government on cycle policy on behalf of the sport’s governing body.
Lord gave evidence earlier this year as a witness during the Get Britain Cycling inquiry, on the subject of planning and design requirements for a cycle-friendly environment, which he also wrote about extensively on his blog.
Speaking of his appointment, he said: “I’m really pleased to be working with British Cycling and sharing my expertise on cycling infrastructure.
“I want to help encourage local authorities and planners to make the right decisions on how to design their roads and junctions with cyclists in mind.
“Cycle proofing isn’t just about making the roads safer for cyclists, it’s about creating routes that are convenient for cycling with an appropriate level of segregation on links and of priority at junctions.
"A well designed route is intuitive - drivers will automatically adjust their speed, all users will know when to give way and when they have priority.
“Properly designing towns and cities for cyclists would have an immeasurable impact on everyone in the country creating more pleasant and sustainable places to live.”
The announcement comes at a time when British Cycling appears to be increasingly focusing its efforts on policy and everyday cycling, in addition to overseeing racing.
Earlier this year, Chris Boardman, who became the Policy Advisor for British Cycling after stepping down from his role as Technical Advisor to the GB Cycling Team after London 2012, made a video entitled ‘Who are cycle lanes for?’ ahead of his appearance before the Get Britain Cycling inquiry.
British Cycling also pushed for and won a review of sentencing guidelines for careless and dangerous driving offences this year, on the anniversary of the death of its employee Rob Jefferies, who was killed in 2011 while out on a training ride near his home in Dorset.
British Cycling’s Director of Policy and Legal Affairs, Martin Gibbs, said: “The fact that British Cycling has brought its own infrastructure expert on board is a sign of how seriously we’re taking the government’s cycling ambitions.
“We recognise that the key to transforming our villages, towns and cities into cycle-friendly environments – and in turn getting millions more people on bikes – is totally about getting it right on infrastructure. I look forward to working closely with Adrian over the coming months.”
In an article written for British Cycling about ‘cycle-proofing’ the built environment, Lord wrote:
Cycle-proofing isn’t just about making separate infrastructure, it is also about making streets where people are the primary consideration and movement and parking of motor traffic is not always the main purpose of a road. This means lower speed environments where people and traffic can mix more safely. Cycle proofing requires a much more equal approach to priority, recognising that it is often safer for cars to give way to cycle traffic at junctions and side roads- as well as more convenient for the cyclist.
Designers will need to reconsider the whole highway, the space between buildings, to avoid some of the pitfalls of trying to fit with existing kerbs and lane markings that lead to compromised infrastructure.
Cycle proofing also requires innovations, such as automated high density cycle parking, cycle traffic signals and greater use of technology such as variable message signs and vehicle detection systems that can warn other road users of the presence of cyclists at hazardous locations.
There is often considerable variation in the expertise and knowledge of highway planners and engineers. One of the challenges for cycle-proofing is to make professionals aware of the range of design options that they can already deploy, such as the removal of centre lines to accommodate cycle lanes along narrower roads, as well as future innovations.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.