If you have any questions, would like some advice or want my opinion, please ask here.

Please keep it clean and friendly and remember, if you are involved in the design of a scheme, you are responsible under the CDM Regulations, not me!

You can also leave comments here if you like or even suggest an idea for a post you would like to see!

In my opinion, there is no such thing as a stupid question. I have sat in rooms full of experts and have been the one to ask the "stupid" question that nobody else knew the answer to - just ask it!


  1. Section 106 payments: Out here in Hertfordshire section 106 money is one of the few ways to get any cycle routes funded, good news for towns with developments like Hatfield where I live, less so for other places. I guide to how they work, how to lobby to get them spent on cycling and who and when to go to to try to influence them would be really useful. Thanks in advance. Adam

  2. Tricky one this as I am not really an expert and S106 for "stuff" is kind of moving towards a community infrastructure levy. I will have a go though!


    Not sure if you have seen this but looks like an interesting case. I was expecting Non-Motorised User Audits to help here, not that we have seen many in Herts despite being told the rule was we had to have them.

    Advice on this too appreciated.



    1. Know of them, but never done one and so really not qualified to comment I am afraid!

    2. Sorry I'm late to this question, but as a qualified Auditor I'll comment.

      Part of the problem is we can only audit the scheme as presented. This first requires the designer to give the auditor an audit brief; at its most basic this tells the auditor what the extents of the scheme are and what needs auditing, at its best it may outline the background to the scheme, why it is being put forward, and any design decisions which have been made which might be seen to affect safety, but which are required by others (usu. the LA).

      As you may suspect, if we actually get a brief (and frankly, we have taken to giving the designer an empty pro-forma, simply to get one in the first place), then it's of the first type. I do not think I have ever had any designer actually volunteer why a scheme was going in, they all required prompting.

      Therefore, all we'll usually have is something which says, "...audit this junction we're changing from a simple T- to a ghost-island...". That's it, together with a number of drawings, and hopefully some collision data (although again, this usually requires some prompting to get).

      Possibly more worrying should be the lack of schemes which include any cycle facilities to audit.

      Andy R.

    3. BTW, NMU Audits can help, because it's here one can suggest, for example, more direct crossings, wider crossings, shorter waiting times for signalised crossings to activate (a major bug-bear these days, it seems); and with NMU audits there are elements of consultation with both the public and designer.

      It should also be borne in mind that both RS and NMU audits are carried out at different stages of a project ad that the comments on what should be included/changed reflect those stages. E.g. at a Stage 1 RSA one might suggest a grade-separated crossing instead of the zebra proposed by the designer; at Stage 2 it's more likely to be a modification to whatever type of crossing has been proposed, so if the designer persisted with the original zebra proposal we might suggest additional signing (unless the auditor feels it still presents a major danger); and at Stage 3 it's a case of looking that the crossing has been installed correctly and ensuring that whatever the safety reason was for suggesting grade-separation in the Stage 1, that measures are in place to reduce or eliminate that problem.

      However, continuity of the audit team through a scheme is by no means guaranteed (although previous audits must be made available to the next audit team, if they have been carried out, along with the designer's response to it).

      Andy R.

    4. Andy, good points as always. All too often designs are fixed too early which greatly diminishes the help auditors can bring to a scheme and hence many do seem to be just going through a tick list.

  4. I would like to query something in regards to the manual DMRB below about Ghost Islands.
    It states in the manual that its for trunk Roads.
    Would this manual also apply to C Roads in the event that there was no other Geometric Design standards to fall back on.
    I have been looking at MfS (Manual for Streets) & other road manuals including Councils road polices on this matter
    & have found nothing that states what the minimum Turning length for a Ghost Island should be on a C Road.

    It states in the Design Manual For Roads And Bridges at 7.32 (The turning length should be 10 m, measured from the centre line of the “minor road”
    irrespective of the type of junction, design speed or gradient).

    But it states in the Manual for Streets 2 at 1.3.3 (Where designers do refer to DMRB for detailed technical guidance on specific aspects,
    for example on strategic inter-urban non-trunk roads, it is recommended that they bear in mind the key principles of MfS, and apply DMRB
    in a way that respects local context. It is further recommended that DMRB or other standards and guidance is only used where the guidance
    contained in MfS is not sufficient or where particular evidence leads a designer to conclude that MfS is not applicable)

    As there is nothing in the MfS about Ghost Islands should it default to DMRB or is there another standard that should be applied.

    I would be very grateful if you could clarify the position on this matter

    PART 6
    TD 42/95
    Chapter 7 Geometric Design Features

  5. Well, DMRB is only mandatory for trunk roads and motorways - this will be the Highways Agency, the Welsh Government and Transport Scotland.

    For most local authority uses, it won't be of relevance, although I would use it as a starting point for high speed roads (40mph +) which will be relevant for urban dual carriageways and high standard rural routes (dual or single).

    The 10m turning length is a minimum for HGVs, but read on and where there are queues, it will be longer to give stacking space.

    For your "C" class road, it is all going to depend on local speeds, road widths and context. MfS is generally aimed at low speed roads (30mph and below) and mainly new developments. It could be that a half way could be used between DMRB and MfS.

    Without knowing the problem, it is a bit hard to give much more advice!

  6. >people are still allowed to load and drop off/ pick up passengers (like on a yellow line)< single yellow lines are no parking (or 'waiting') for the hours of the controlled parking zone. vehicles can still drop off / pick up even on double yellow lines double kerb blip areas (single or double kerb blips prevent loading of goods). red lines mean no stopping, so no dropping off/picking up

    1. Yes, that is all correct. Don't forget, blue badge holders can park on a single and double yellow line (without no loading blips) for up to 3 hours (different rules apply in central London) and holders can park in a "paid for" bay for as long as they like and without charge.

      Nobody can stop on school keep clear zig zags or bus stop clearways (although taxis can drop off/ pick up on bus stop clearways).

  7. Further to my Q i ask about Ghost Islands Anonymous 21 March 2014 20:49
    I sent a Email too The Secretary of State for Transport regarding ghost islands.
    Is Reply is below. But before reading it all i find is last words interesting. It states "This decision is entirely a matter for the relevant local highway authority."
    Does this mean the relevant local highway authority could turn a planning application down if the DMRB was not adhered too even when its classed as a C road ?

    Gordon Rolfe
    Department for Transport
    Great Minster House
    33 Horseferry Road
    Tel: 0300 330 3000
    Direct Line: 020 7944 2249
    Web Site:

    Our Ref: *******
    Your Ref:
    Date: 17 April 2014
    Dear Mr *********,
    Thank you for your e-mail of 17 March addressed to Robert Goodwill MP,
    Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport regarding ghost islands. I
    have been asked to reply.
    The Design Manual for Roads & Bridges was introduced in 1992 in England and
    Wales, and subsequently in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It provides a
    comprehensive manual system which accommodates all current standards, advice notes and other published documents relating to the design, assessment and operation of trunk roads (including motorways).
    It has been developed from a number of separate series of documents previously
    published by the Overseeing Organisations of England, Scotland, Wales and
    Northern Ireland (i.e. the Highways Agency in England). These documents,
    together with later additions, have been gathered together in a consistent series of volumes within the manual to help in meeting the requirements of quality assurance procedures. The Manual is a series of 15 volumes that provide official standards, advice notes and other documents relating to the design, assessment and operation of trunk roads, including motorways in the United Kingdom.
    The Design Manual for Roads & Bridges is a Highways Agency publication and is therefore aimed at the motorway and trunk road network. Local highway authorities may however use this guidance when designing road schemes but it is them to decide the extent to which the documents in the manual are appropriate to a particular situation. This decision is entirely a matter for the relevant local highway authority.
    I hope this reply is helpful.

    Yours sincerely
    Gordon Rolfe

  8. Quote: "But before reading it all i find is last words interesting. It states "This decision is entirely a matter for the relevant local highway authority."
    Does this mean the relevant local highway authority could turn a planning application down if the DMRB was not adhered too even when its classed as a C road ?"
    What he's getting at is that since the LA will be responsible for the new junction it is up to them to decide what standard the junction should be built to, and that while the DMRB is commended to them, they are not obligated to use it if they have decided on their own standards (be they lower or higher).

    The Designer will no doubt use the DMRB in the first instance, but may well use the MfS (or perhaps other research information) to inform their design wrt visibilities, for example, (it's likely they will also carry out a Designer's Risk Assessment to satisfy themselves any 'compromise' in the design does not affect user safety), and then present their case to the LA's officers. This is where a Road Safety Audit is likely to be a very important piece of the design documentation.

  9. Just seen this blog post on how urbanising the countryside appears to get used as an excuse to leave muddy and unusalble cycle paths.

    Is this something you are familiar with and are there arguments to counter this e.g. it's an old railway so already urbanised anyway?



    1. A great post that! I have had that plenty of times. We had a scheme to improve a bridle way from grass'n'mud. We proposed tarmac, but was overruled by client department because of urbanisation and had to do gravel. But, we did do an engineered scheme which at least is usable on a hybrid in depth of winter.

    2. Not much help for Local Authority roads, but there's talk that the HA, possibly moreso when it eventually converts to 'Highways England Ltd.', will be looking in more detail at accessibility and inclusivity in developing its schemes.

      If this is the case it will obviously have an impact on what the original scheme briefs will incorporate - designers design what they are told to and what is within the budget, if there is a firm requirement for wider accessibility issues to be taken into account then this widens the scope of what engineers may provide and what the Client expects.

      Certainly I would suggest the Equalities Act could be the best tool for campaigners in this respect (although I believe it contains some weasel words regarding the scale of changes required to accommodate everyone - and therefore a getout if LAs judge a measure is too expensive given what it will bring to a scheme).

      Andy R.


  10. Consider two streets which are closed to all motor traffic except, for example, buses. One is also signed as a pedestrian zone, the other is just a bus only road with separate footways.

    From a highways engineering point of view (putting aside surface treatments and things like that), what is the difference?
    Is there any difference in the traffic orders needed to create it, given that the same vehicles are permitted? Are there any rules or guidance on an appropriate speed/volume of traffic, or is it just engineering judgement?

    Once the scheme has been designed and the signs are in place (and the pretty granite paving has been laid), does the creation of our 'Pedestrian Zone' require drivers (or pedestrians) to behave any differently with regards speed/priority?

  11. Jim - a pedestrian zone and a road with only buses are pretty much the same thing, although the traffic orders will be a little different. I can only think that a pedestrian zone with buses might be useful to remind bus drivers that pedestrians area there!

  12. Road Safety Audits

    The following update that has been made to DMRB

    1. DMRB – Volume Contents Pages and Alpha-Numeric Index.
    2. HD 19/15 Road Safety Audit. Please note HD 19/15 supersedes HD19/03 and IAN 152/11 (and the other Overseeing Organisation documents IAN 152/11 (W), DEM 136/11 and TS Interim Amendment 40/11)

  13. Difficult one this, whilst retaining some (mutual) anonymity, but is there a way to ask you a question in private, outside this blog or twitter?

    Andy R.

    1. Andy, are you on Twitter? I can DM an email address.

  14. Can you explain the reason why staggered pelican/toucan crossings are phased the way they are? Pressing the button on the first stage only changes the signals on the first stage and then the button has to be pressed on the second stage with another wait.

    It's as if the signal engineers are surprised that people want to cross from one side to the other! Logic would suggest that the second stage is also triggered by a button press on the first stage, with a small delay depending on the size of the island.

    If it's something about 'traffic flow' why is stopping motor traffic on one side at a time preferable to stopping it on both almost at once?

  15. But how big should that delay be? Guidance suggests we use a walking pace of 1.2m/s, however, research has found that older pedestrians walk at speeds down to 0.7m/s. It might not seem much difference in the time taken to cross, but consider you've got to account for crossing one half of the road, as well as negotiating the island, then that time difference can become significant.

    Having said that, it might be possible with modern detectors to set up such a system - in essence a ped 'green wave' - the problem is peds can behave unpredictably (one of the reasons we have Puffin crossings with their plethora of pedestrian detectors), older peds or those with mobility problems may take the opportunity of the island to rest before crossing the second half of the road, but if the detectors pick them up then road traffic would be held at red unnecessarily, and in terms of traffic flow, even outside that there London signalised junctions in urban areas are usually at or near capacity, certainly during the morning and evening commutes.

    Assume an arm of a junction is 4 lanes wide (12m absolute minimum, with another 2m for the island). Stopping traffic to allow crossing of both sides at once means 11.7 seconds minimum crossing time, plus 5 seconds intergreen before and after for safety. That's about 22 seconds when vehicles are essentially stationary. If we split the crossing into two that's only 5 seconds crossing time, plus the 5 seconds before and after gives 15 seconds stationary. That 7 second difference is when vehicles could be going through the junction without conflicting with pedestrians crossing the adjacent half of the road. Splitting crossings allows a more efficient use of the cycle time because we can fit (almost) all those half-crossing movements into the wider signal scheme whilst minimising the stopping of vehicle streams.

    There is a crossing design which does cater better for cyclists, by splitting them from peds and making use of their greater speed to get across in one movement - but currently it doesn't seem to be widely used.

    Andy R.

  16. Hi Mark,
    I was searching the net for ramped kerb units when I stumbled upon a picture on your website
    I am referring to the photo next to which the paragraphs starts reading as "There is a variation on using quadrants with a little slope ..."
    I was glad to find out that you were based in the UK so my hope flared up that you might be able to recommend a few companies that sell such ramped kerb units.
    I would be grateful for your guidance.
    Best regards,
    Zsolt R

    1. Unfortunately, those are not standard UK kerbs and I think they are natural stone, so can be expensive. However, CED Stone is very good at sourcing this kind of stuff, although lead ins could be a long time because it is often imported

  17. Hi, I am making a video on cycle parking in London. I'd like to combine my hobby of video editing with my interest in cycle campaigning. I'm doing lots of research on parking requirements but still have a few questions unanswered. Do you mind if I ask you some? I've been out recording Lambeth bike hangers and the lack of parking outside shops on the cycle superhighway.

    So here's some of the questions. Please don't feel you have to help or provide detailed answers, but if you could point me in the right direction I'd be very grateful.

    1. Is the London Plan table 6.3 enforceable and is it stuck to rigidly? Th new Sainsbury's in Nine Elms has far fewer spaces than it should based on its square footage. Would it be safe to say so in the video? The Waitrose in Nine Elms didn't include cycle parking until it received a lot of hassle on Twitter. It now provides good racks very close to the main entrance.

    2. When did the London Plan come into effect? There's the Tesco on Clapham Road in the Printworks that doesn't provide any cycle parking despite cyclists making up the majority of all vehicular traffic in rush hours. Was there anything in place before the London Plan.

    3. Is it just up to councilors to determine the level of cycle parking in residential streets or Borough town centres? Do they have to provide any?

    Thanks Will,

    1. Hi Will - some interesting questions, so I'll do my best!

      Planning in the UK is meant to flow from national policy to local and the London Plan is part of this. Borough development plans should be in accordance with the London Plan, but some with older policies are not quite there.

      But, a planning application should be reviewed against borough planning policies and the London Plan.

      So, Q1 means that for a new planning application, failure to provide cycle parking in accordance with T6.3 is a material planning consideration. A developer may sidestep this with a financial contribution to provide cycle parking elsewhere (which happens on all sorts of planning areas).

      The issue will be for a planning committee (which deals with bigger applications) is if everything else meets policy, what would happen if a scheme is rejected because of a lack of cycle parking. The applicant would go to appeal and the Planning Inspectorate would decide - I'm not aware of any case hinging solely on cycle parking.

      So, once planning consent is granted, planning policies (they are not laws) cannot be retrospectively applied/ enforced; the key is to point this out at application stage.

      This comes to Q2, T6.3 came into the 2011 version of the plan, before that it was not set out as a minimum requirement. In many cases (you cite a Tesco) if the building use doesn't change, then planning consent isn't required. We've had lots of pub to supermarket conversions which don't need consent (other than new signage and ATMs).

      For Q3, the London Plan requires residential cycle parking (as on T6.3), although developers often do this poorly with cycle sheds at the back of the site and without enough useable space. For "retrofit" to town centres and residential areas (e.g. bikehangers) it is all down to local policies, although TfL has been maing funding available.

    2. That's great information. I am very grateful. I am writing the script for my first vlog now, and your information will help no end to shape it. Many thanks.

    3. Excellent - if you're on Twitter, let me know when it's up and I'll tweet it out. I do like the idea of videos about subjects as you can obviously capture more than photos!

  18. I wonder if you know of any guidance or have experience of the following situation?

    I'm hoping to 'cycleproof' a Highways England scheme with a hybrid cycle track running between the footway and carriageway. At some point there will be a signalised crossing of the carriageway (this will actually be two separate crossings - one for peds, one for cyclists). Therefore, peds will be required to cross the cycle track to get to a waiting area at their set of signals. No problem, 'mini zebras' exist for cycle tracks. However, should tactiles also be used to help blind/partially-sighted peds cross the cycle track and if so, in what arrangement? This is a particular problem since the signalised crossing will have tactiles in the 'L' layout. Obviously normal zebras have the same 'L' layout, but having two sets of this so close together seems like overkill and more than a little confusing. However, doing without tactiles to cross the cycle track also seems wrong.

    Any opinion?

    Andy R.

    1. It's a good question, not specifically covered in guidance. My gut feeling is that there should be an L on the footway and an L on the far footway with just a block crossing on each side of the track - think of the track as a road and it would kind of be like a staggered crossing. Just a view though!

  19. Hello Ranty,

    I remember seeing one of your tweets about cycle kerbs that allowed cyclists in an emergency to smoothly transition from a segregated (kerbed) cycleway / footway. From memory the kerbs were flush but looked to have a 45-60 degree chamfer.

    My Google-Fu has let me down and I cannot find much information. Do you have any manufacture names for those types of kerbs? Recycled rubber bolt down kerbs would be ideal as it is planned for on a bridge deck so there is limited space for traditional kerbing


    Andy (not related to any previous Andy's)

    1. Hi Andy,

      HB1 kerbs laid on their backs work a treat and might be useful on a bridge;

      I've also used 45 degree which are standard, but after using the HB1 on back, I would be less likely to use it;

      Or was it something else?

    2. Thanks Ranty, HB1 laid on its back was what I was thinking. Also thanks Andy R will have a look at the link and see what if anything takes my eye.

  20. Although probably not suitable due to the depth, it's worth knowing that Charcon now produce the 'Cambridge Kerb' as standard.

    Andy R.

  21. Hi there,
    Just wondering where you got your trailer from. Looking for a seatpost mounted one and hard to come by.... especially in New Zealand!

    1. We got ours from Amazon essentially this one, but I think harder to get hold of in your neck of the woods

    2. whoops, no this one!

  22. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  23. Hi, I was reading one of your articles and tried to look at the idiots guide to highway maintenance. Unfortunately the web site will not come up. Do you know if this is now closed? or if Chris Summers has closed it down?

    1. Oh, I don't know what has happened - it's still available as an archive;

  24. Hi All,

    Dorking has a Sill fund(might be 'Cill fund'). I am part of a local group that is trying to get one of the main roads into town slowed to 20mph. A helpful local business owner told me that the best way to get the road slowed was to make a proposal through the local business association, on the grounds that it will improve trading in the town. And use the Sill money for the changes.

    (I think this is the 106 funding someone above asked about.)

    I would like a light segregation bike lane that runs the length of the high street, and terminates at the main train station.

    My idea is that this will slow traffic and increase the already large numbers of people cycling through the town. Which should boost trade in the way bike lanes in NYC have been shown to.

    >>Perhaps you guys here know why this wont work and could suggest a better solution?

    While researching options I have come across the vocal back lash against the mini holland schemes in London.

    In an economic case for one of them they made the good point that nationally the high streets are in decline. So I am loathed to fight for something like that to be put in, only to find it blamed for an ongoing trend, of declining high streets.

    On the other hand, one end of our high street is in decline, and I think they need to do something to turn the town around and making it a more competitive retail environment. Some sort of pedestrianisation, or cycle infrastructure, looks to me like it might help.

    Please could you rip the above to shreds if need be. I plan to start chatting to the local business soon and would like to know my stuff when I do.

    Any thoughts, alternatives and advice will be read, thought about and acted upon.

    Best Alex

    1. Hi Alex - 'CIL' is the community infrastructure levy and essentially is a contribution from developers towards local improvements, which could include transport;

      S106 is section 106 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 and deals with "planning obligations";

      S106 essentially means that a development on its own is not acceptable unless something is done - often used to fund transport improvements (new bus services, highway works etc), but it can also agree things like new residents not being eligible for parking permits.

      I don't know Dorking, but it might be a wider issue than just the High Street in terms of wider traffic management to free space for cycling - light seg is OK, but it's never going to be as good as decent tracks.

      Getting business support is a good plan - I would also see if there is a local cycling group to connect with - if you are on Twitter - it would be a great way to get the message out.

    2. Thank you so much for this. FYI David harvey Williams of kingston LCC told me about you. I will look at the links.

  25. My two starting points is that every £ not spent on petrol is a £ people can spend on the high street & people who cycle out for dinner, don't need to pay for a cab, and can all have a drink. So it will help local restaurants, and retailers.

    If anyone has tried these arguments, and knows how they fly do let me know :-)

    1. We often see comments about spending power of people cycling (and on foot), but the key is to try and give it some local spin - I was interested to read that the town is pushing for a Business Improvement District;

      That would be a key ally.

      There must be some infographics out there on spending power!

    2. Thank you for finding this. I will write to them.

  26. Wombat crossings - can I suggest that you add a definition of these to your Glossary section? They are a Zebra crossing with the addition of a table or speed ramp.

    Also, I'm keen to see examples of both Zebra and Wombat crossings that include extra width to enable riders to move easily through without having to move to the right into the carriageway.

    Thanks! (love your blog!!)

    Tasmania, Australia

  27. Q1) Do you have to have a cycle lane on both sides of a road?

    Q2) Are there any types of bike lane mobility scooters can use?

    I made an enquiry a while ago about a light segregation in Dorking to the Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Flooding.

    The response I got back said:

    "Cycle lanes on the carriageway should ideally be 2m wide with 1.5m as a minimum. These are either mandatory lanes, with a solid white line, or advisory with a dashed white line. ##As cycle lanes can only be travelled on in the same direction as the flow of traffic they would need to be on both sides. ##"

    > Is this true? Would they have to put them on both sides of the road?

    it would be a massive improvement to have a mandatory bike lane on the 'uphill' side of the carnage way, to protect slow cyclists climbing the hill and pedestrians that need to step off the pavement to allow mobility
    scooters to pass.

    On the down hill section, as a cyclist I can pretty much stay in front of the cars as gravity is on my side.

    "Armadillos provide an extra degree of separation on a mandatory cycle lane by discouraging people driving in the cycle lane. It seems reasonable to suggest that mobility vehicles could also use the cycle lane but unfortunately this isn’t permitted (”

    >This is true for mediatory cycle lanes, but is it true for all types of bike lane? Is there a designation which would allow at least the 8mph scooters on a segregated bike lane?

    1. You don't have to provide them on both sides - I suspect the comment might have meant having people cycling against traffic on a two-way street. Absolutely you could have a lane on one side to help with the uphill issue.

      The mobility scooter thing is daft; I don't think it could apply to advisory lanes though as they are not exclusively for cycles as a mandatory lane would be.

      The other daft thing is mobility scooters can't use cycle tracks which is also stupid.

  28. Hi.

    Our local council put down some elephants feet WBM 294s at several roundabouts.

    As far as I'm aware they can only be legally put down at signalised junctions. They were not.

    A pedestrian was hit by a car and killed at one of these sites and the coroner mentioned their use in his report.

    No one at the council seems to be able to say who made the decision to use them and who on the council signed it off.

    These records shouldn't be too hard to find, right?

    My local MP was portfolio holder for transport on the council at one point but claims it wasn't him as he resigned from that post in April 2009. But google maps image archive shows them in place back in November 2008.

    So to sum up:
    these shouldn't have been used, should they?;
    it shouldn't be too hard to find out who is responsible, should it?;
    this isn't some dodgy cover up, is it?


  29. James,

    They are allowed at signalised junctions to show a cycle route on a cycle stage and at parallel zebra crossings. So, yes, the ones you cite were unlawful (and this will have been before the marking was made lawful last year - prior to this it would have been by special authorisation).

    In terms of fault, it would be down to the designer and the person responsible for approving the designs, so probably not a politician who goes on the advice of professional officers.

    Council's vary considerably in how they have a quality assurance system to sign off schemes so it's not a surprise. Perhaps the coroner should have pushed for a better sign-off process?

    1. Thanks.

      Someone I know is looking to contact the coroner about it.

  30. Any guidance or general advice on use of tactile paving at a T junction of a shared, unsegregated path with another shared, unsegregated path?

    DETR "Guidance on the use of Tactile Paving Surfaces" text says to use it for shared to shared paths, but figure 32 only covers segregated to segregated, making it less clear which aspect of the layout the tactile is there to deal with - the junction as a whole or the correct side of the path to use.

    We have just recently built our first real "designed" shared use paths and our designers had ended up going with blister paving on each leg of the path as an indication that there was junction, without the extra guidance from tramline paving to steer people to one side or the other.

    We've got a new section of path joining in, and there are second thoughts over continuing that, or removing everything and leaving path/path junctions with no tactiles.

    Any thoughts?

    1. Personally, I would have not used any tactile paving as both are shared, unsegregated - perhaps a strip of "hazard" paving on each arm might be a useful reminder to visually impaired people that they are on an unsegregated path, but even that is probably overkill.

  31. Dear Ranty...

    A link to a well known website - the old one has been taken down, but something you might like to share again!!


    The Spudman

    1. It's a shame that it went down, but I'll share the link - thanks!

  32. In 'Kerb your enthusiasm' you say:

    "Where the transition is in line with the direction of travel, the upstand can "grab" wheels and throw the rider off - very dangerous." and "Even a small upstand can grab a tyre and throw the rider."

    What height upstand in line with direction of travel is dangerous for cyclists?

    1. It depends on the wheel size/ tyre width, but I would say look at tramline paving (the kind you get running in line with a cycle track); the "bars" on these have a 5mm upstand (+/- 0.5mm) and they do pull at tyres if you are not quite square. Really, anything which is not flush cam potentially grab large wheels with narrow tyres whereas fatter tyres are more forgiving. Avoid having to cycle across any kerb would be my starting point; flush if not. Even the 6mm maximum at a pedestrian crossing dropped kerb is too high to take at anything other than squarish on really.

  33. As I bumped my way over yet another tree root in the cycle path yesterday, it got me curious about construction standards. How is it road seem never to have this problem yet far too many local cycle routes get ruined by tree roots which councils then take ages to fix. Possible blog post on construction standards and what lies beneath a cycle path and what might stop this happening?

    1. Thanks Adam - that's a good idea. Some discussion in 6.3 of this

      But, something more specific will be good. I'll add it to the list!

  34. Dear Mark,

    I work for Dutch transport company Mobycon. Next month i'm planning to conduct research on cycling in London on their behalf. I've been reading the blog and it would be great to speak to you as part of the research.

    I couldn't find an email address to contact you on (hence this comment). If you get back to me i'd be happy to explain more details of the project.

    Oliver Blake

  35. Hi RH, love the blog. Have you seen the new cycle lanes which have recently been completed around Bexleyheath town centre? It feels like quite a good scheme from a ride around.

    1. Thanks! Not aware of that - any street names to look out for?

  36. Was looking into the Cambridge Kerb profile when I found your kerb your enthusiasm article. My previous road design experience in Australia meant exposure to the world of extruded concrete kerb. It's used almost exclusively and has been for over fifty years. You can pour almost any profile in record quick time and it has astounded me that it's never used here. Is it simply down to doing what's always been done? Extruded kerb is used extensively in the US as well where there are similar extremes of weather so I'm wondering why it has never caught on in the UK.

    1. We sometimes do extruded asphalt kerbs on UK trunk road - as it explains here, they are too fiddly for urban applications (levels).

      If you enjoyed the blog post, you might like The Joy of Kerbs which took inspiration from the the blog and is available for free on my other website