Planning for cycling in the West Midlands


The issues involved in planning for pedal cyclists are examined with reference to the West Midlands County. Working with a local cycling campaign group, the researcher uses action research methods to investigate and influence the campaign. Development of cycle planning is traced through the literature, focusing on bicycle ownership, bicycle use and cycling policy. UK practice is contrasted with the integrated approach of other countries. An extensive bibliography is provided. Local authority cycle planning through the TPP process is systematically assessed over three years. This provides a context for the information regarding cycling in the West Midlands. Existing data is presented from the 1981 Census and local police road accident and bicycle theft records. The developing relationship between the local authority and the cycle campaign group is narrated in detail, explaining the problems that can beset efforts to improve conditions for cyclists. The researcher was closely involved in this interaction, particularly with policy and a major public inquiry. A survey of the Cycle Campaign Network indicates that the local group was not atypical. To provide information relevant to the local campaign and for effective local planning, a survey of 3,500 West Midlands residents was conducted using a novel combination of questionnaires and interviews. It shows that 1) Bicycle ownership and use is considerably higher than indicated by the 1978/9 National Travel Survey 2) Cycling is most import to certain disadvantaged sections of the community, particularly the young, those without access to a car and in the lower SEGs. The broader issues of transport policy are discussed, concluding that cycling is regarded as a marginal activity and that changes in general transport policy, land use planning and fiscal arrangements are necessary conditions for cycle planning to succeed. An integrated package of cycling measures involving engineering, education, enforcement and encouragement is also required. Recommendations are made concerning central government, local authorities and cycle campaign groups. Subjects for further research are identified.

Divisions: Aston University (General)
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Institution: Aston University
Uncontrolled Keywords: bicycle,cycle planning,transport policy,West Midlands
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2024 07:26
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2011 08:31
Completed Date: 1986-09
Authors: Davies, D.G.


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