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British Cycling appoints its first infrastructure expert

Adrian Lord will consult with governing body on cycle-proofing road layouts, junctions and route design

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.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Skylark | 10 years ago


WolfieSmith | 10 years ago

Dear Adrian,

Can you come help us in Liverpool? Sefton County Council, Liverpool CC and Peel Holdings are developing the North corridor of the city's commuter route for increased car use with scant regard for cyclists.

It would be very easy to make Liverpool into the UK's first true cycle friendly city but opportunities are being ignored.

kie7077 | 10 years ago

He gets my vote, but British Cycling is not a Govt body so they will have little sway with the Tories who have motor-madness disease, more motorways anyone?

Steve Worland | 10 years ago

I really wish they'd stop using that term 'cycle proofing'. To me it implies the opposite of what they appear to be trying to achieve.

daddyELVIS | 10 years ago

I can't help thinking there's too much faffing going on, mainly involving painting strips and lines on the road. Instead, get tough on motorists speeding and driving carelessly, and the technology is now there to legislate that every new car sold in Europe has to have a variable speed-limiting gps system - it would only take a certain volume of new cars on the road to slow the whole traffic flow down to legal-levels. Once that is done, then introduce lower speed limits on certain roads. As for dangerous junctions, get cycling and motoring experts together to produce a national TV campaign about what we all need to be looking out for, what is good riding / driving and what is dangerous riding / driving.

But I'm convinced that any big cycling initiative from this government, back by millions of £s, has in mind the end-goal of getting as many bikes OFF the road as possible! Sorry, I don't trust politicians (don't know why)

Dave42W | 10 years ago

Very worried about this quote

"vehicle detection systems that can warn other road users of the presence of cyclists at hazardous locations"

If you are cycle proofing then isn't the whole point that as a result there won't be any hazardous locations!

A V Lowe replied to Dave42W | 10 years ago

Inherently safe means just that. A glaring example is the mess being created at Bow in the name of making CS2 safe, without fundamentally removing any possibility of cyclists being hit by a left turning vehicle or a vehicle failing to give priority emerging from the slip road of on the roundabout. When 70% of cyclists ride over the flyover, where there is hardly any likelihood of any vehicle making a left turn across their path and absolutely NO RISK of a failure to yield at a stop-line, the action of cyclists to deliver safety in the absence of competent delivery by TfL should have guided those designing the second and flawed arrangements on the roundabout. I fear that that mess, reliant of traffic light timing, and paint, will deliver further injury and possibly death after its installation, and the focus is only for Westbound cycling?

Vehicle detection systems, and all facilities that move the driver away from direct observation of what is happening around them cannot be relied on - those systems are in the same family as satnav devices, but instead of getting stuck in a tight corner another road user can get hurt badly.

kitkat | 10 years ago

That blog post is well worth a read but make sure you have a fresh brew, there's a bit of reading in it. Folding Cycling England was a shame and even more so having read the benefits it was bringing as mentioned in that blog.

Gkam84 | 10 years ago

We'll see what he comes up with, but for me, its money for old rope. Everything is out there, its just got to be integrated. GO Dutch.....

Any of these "new" ideas, like those of TFL need to be taken out of the picture

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