North Yorkshire County Council


Local Access Forum


26 January 2022


Active Travel in North Yorkshire


Report of the Corporate Director – Business & Environmental Services


1.0         Purpose of Report


1.1       To update Members of the Local Access Forum on active travel issues.



2.0         Background


2.1       As cycling increases in North Yorkshire, it is essential to create spaces that are attractive, appropriate for the landscape and townscape, and predictable for users across the county. The benefits of more people choosing to cycle for short journeys cannot be understated, and extend to cyclists and non -cyclists alike: better health, less air pollution, more social interaction as towns focus on people rather than cars, and ultimately room for public transport and for people and goods that have to travel by car, van, lorry or other motorised mode. The publication of Local Transport Note 1/20 (LTN1/20) offers clear expectations for roads and public spaces designed for use by all. LTN 1/20 provides guidance to local authorities on delivering high quality, cycle infrastructure including:


·                     planning for cycling

·                     space for cycling within highways

·                     transitions between carriageways, cycle lanes and cycle tracks

·                     junctions and crossings

·                     cycle parking and other equipment

·                     planning and designing for commercial cycling

·                     traffic signs and road markings

·                     construction and maintenance


3.0         Cycling Infrastructure and LTN1/20


3.1         Concerns about safety related to motor vehicle traffic is the main reason why many people do not cycle with 62% of adults feeling that roads are unsafe for them to cycle on . The need to address actual and perceived safety concerns is particularly important when seeking to create environments where most people of all ages will feel safe to cycle. As such, providing the appropriate level of separation from motor vehicle traffic is important when planning cycle infrastructure.


3.2         Knowing when and how to separate cycle traffic from general traffic depends on the speed and volume of motor vehicle traffic on the street. For example, on busier and faster streets, such as connector and distributor roads, many people will not feel safe to cycle without separate and protected infrastructure. However, on quieter and slower streets, such as in residential areas, many people will feel comfortable mixing with motor vehicle traffic on the carriageway.






3.3         A key point to note is that protected space for cycling will enable most people to cycle, regardless of the volume and speed of motor vehicle traffic. Additionally, LTN1/20 states that streets that carry less than 2,500 PCU per day with a speed limit of 20 mph can be appropriate for mixing bicycle traffic with motor vehicle traffic so that most people will feel safe to cycle. NYCC’s 20mph policy is compatible with this statement from LTN1/20 and subject to further site assessment the policy can support the introduction of new 20mph limits or zones where required.


3.4         Once traffic speeds exceed 20 mph then a level of separation from motor traffic is required to make the street feel safe for most people to cycle on regardless of the traffic flows. For streets with speeds of over 30mph then the highest level of separation in the form of a protected cycle track is required regardless of the traffic flows. Where a high number of HGVs are present, greater levels of segregation and careful design of junctions is required.


3.5         The cycling infrastructure recommended by LTN 1/20 that can be implemented on or next to the carriageway and does not usually form part of the Rights of Way network can be split into these main categories:


·                Segregated Cycle Path - A cycle facility physically separated from the areas used by motorists and pedestrians. It may be next to, or completely away from the carriageway

·                Light Segregation - Vertical infrastructure that can be placed within existing traffic lanes (including cycle lanes) to convert them to protected space. They are easy to install and comparatively cheap, and can be used to trial a new cycle path. Cyclists can leave the path easily but vehicles are prevented from entering.

·                Cycle lanes  - These are defined by either a solid or intermittent white line and are not protected from motor vehicle traffic by physical separation

·                Traffic calming/reduction and 20mph - Traffic calming includes features that physically or psychologically slow traffic. 20mph zones should be self - enforcing, and will often require physical measures in addition to signage.

·                Modal filter / Low Traffic Neighbourhood - A modal filter typically consists of a bollard, planter, or other barrier that allows pedestrians, cyclists, and occasionally public transport to pass, but not other motor traffic. Low Traffic Neighbourhoods often deploy modal filters to reduce the volume of motor traffic through an area.

·                Shared use path - A footway converted to legally permit cycling. Can also refer to other places where cyclists and pedestrians are unsegregated, such as a bridleway or Vehicle Restricted Area.



3.6       The table below, taken from LTN1/20, Ch4, p33 provides a framework for the minimum level of provision required for most people to cycle based on motor traffic volume and speed.  If there is an opportunity to provide a type of infrastructure that gives a higher level of service for cycle users, then this would be considered.

3.7       It will take time to start to implement the new design standards and therefore most of the county’s current cycling infrastructure will not meet the standards set out in LTN1/20. All new cycling infrastructure should be designed with LTN1/20 in mind and if existing infrastructure is upgraded the new guidance will be taken into account.


4.0       Cycling and the Definitive Map


4.1       The only types of routes which can be shown on Definitive Maps are:

·                Public footpaths – for use by pedestrians only

·                Public bridleways – for use by pedestrians and horse riders, and may also be used by cyclists, who are required to give way to pedestrians and horse riders.

·                Restricted byways - for use by pedestrians, horse riders, and drivers of non-motorised vehicles, including horse drawn vehicles and cyclists.

·                Byways open to all traffic - for use by pedestrians, horse riders, cyclists and motor vehicles.


4.2       There is no facility to record cycle tracks or cycle ways on the Definitive Map.  Ways recorded as footpaths recorded on the Definitive Map can be ‘converted’ into Cycle Tracks by Cycle Tracks Act Order, but are then required to be removed from the Definitive Map.  Cycle Track conversions are very rare although many routes exist as cycle ways or cycle tracks but which are quite separate to those public rights of way recorded on the Definitive Map.


4.3       There may be routes recorded as footpaths on the Definitive Map over which the landowner has permitted use by cycles.  This may have been arranged by permissive agreements made between the landowners and the local authority, or may be even more informal where a landowner chooses to permit access by cycles.  There is no facility to record this information formally and may only be apparent by the signage on the routes explaining the permissive nature.  The more formal permissive arrangements such as the development of the National Cycle Network, have resulted in some of the more substantial cycling routes being recorded on Ordnance Survey maps.


5.0         Using the planning process to increase active travel infrastructure


5.1         The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires development to mitigate its own impacts. There is no obligation to offer a betterment, although sometimes fortunately this can be achieved. Developers demonstrate the impact through a robust Transport Assessment. Where infrastructure such as cycle routes become expensive, for example because bridges or land take is required, it can make sites unviable and if there is no demonstration in the Transport Assessment of its necessity, for example because an increase in vehicular trips can be accommodated on the highway network, this becomes something unattainable.


5.2         Fortunately there is a renewed and extended emphasis on sustainable travel nationally. There have been recent changes to guidance, such as the introduction of LTN1/20, which focusses on the design of high quality safe cycle infrastructure and a revision to TRICS (trip rate information computer system) guidance, with it moving towards a “decide and provide” approach– which encourages local authorities and developers to decide an aspirational (albeit realistic) vehicular trip rate and deliver infrastructure to support this, moves away from the traditional predict and provide, which sees trip rates forecast based on background growth and historical data, with the provision of highway infrastructure which then accommodates the uplift. These changes offer opportunities for sustainable travel options to have a greater hand in infrastructure provision and the council is presently revising its guidance to better reflect the national picture.


6.0         Conclusion


6.1       Providing for cyclists to LTN 1/20 standards presents the Council with a challenge and an opportunity. Relevant funding pots will be bid into and where appropriate the planning system will be used to gain additional improvements for cyclists.


7.0          Recommendation


7.1       That Members of the Local Access Forum note the content of the report.




Corporate Director – Business and Environmental Services



Author of Report: Louise Neale



Background Documents: None