As Easy As Riding A Bike)
In October, without a huge amount of fanfare, a new Highways England ‘Standard’ was released, entitled ‘Cycle Traffic and the Strategic Road Network’.
Although IAN 195/16 does contain recommendations, and design advice, much of it sets out minimum standards and requirements – in particular, things like gradients, design speeds, widths, and so on – and states that designers to have to apply for a ‘Departure from Standards’ where they feel they cannot (or choose not to) meet those requirements.
The following definitions are used –
- “Must”: is used in this document to denote a statutory obligation.
- “Shall”: is used in this document to denote a requirement.
- “Should”: is used in this document to denote a recommendation.
So in the very first paragraph of section 2, entitled ‘Cycle Traffic’,we have the passage
Highways England and designers shall plan to acquire land to create the space to accommodate cycle traffic as part of new scheme designs (see Section 1.3) or when enhancing cycling provision for existing routes with NMU prohibitions.
… the ‘shall’ here denotes a requirement – this is something designers have to do – they have to plan land acquisition, alongside new road schemes, to create cycle provision. Likewise (shortly after) –
Infrastructure shall provide sufficient capacity to accommodate growth in volumes of cycle traffic.
… is a requirement that cycleways should be wide enough to deal with future demand, not just the existing (greatly suppressed) levels of use. IAN 195/16 states that designers shall use planning guidance to account for future cycle traffic.
We then, pleasingly, have reference to these familiar five principles, explicitly taken from Dutch design guidance.
Note again the repeated use of the word ‘shall’ (requirement) here, rather than ‘should’ (recommendation).
After this IAN 195/16 moves swiftly to ‘Facility Selection’, based around one of the most significant tables in the document – a speed/volume separation requirement.