The overall result of the project is a prototype national map for cycling infrastructure prioritisation, in-line with the initial aim of the project. As described in the CyIPT Manual and shown on the main panel at www.cyipt.bike, there are nine layers available to the user, providing an unprecedented level of data access of relevance to cycle planning in a single place.
The headline figures of the results are as follows:
- 9,342 schemes recommended across England
- costing an average of £730,000 and with a total cost of £6.8bn
- with an average length of 1.1 km and a total length of 10,600 km
- average estimated benefits were £1,467,000 and total benefits of £13.7bn
- the median estimated BCR was 1.51.
These numbers may sound large but they are illustrative of the kind of investment that may be needed for a national cycling revolution. Investment of this type is not unprecedented: in The Netherlands, investment in cycling infrastructure on this scale began in the mid-1970s and is a major factor explaining the nation’s high cycling levels and associated high levels of public health (Pucher and Buehler 2008). The construction of 10,000+ km of cycleways, for example, may seem like a tall order but even if such a network were built England would have a cycle network half the size of the Dutch cycle network in absolute terms — The Netherlands had 18,948 km of cycleways in 1996 (Pucher and Buehler 2008) which has since grown further — and around 1/6th the size of the Dutch cycleway network per person, with England’s population of 53 million 3 times larger than Holland’s with 17 million. In this connection, it is also worth noting the outcome of the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group ‘Get Britain Cycling’ report, which recommended an initial investment level of at least £10 per person per year.
It should also be noted that CyIPT evaluates each scheme in isolation, and therefore is unable to evaluate network effects where the construction of multiple linked schemes result in a greater increase that would be expected from each individual scheme. For example, an average CyIPT scheme of about 1.1 km would only increase cycling by 20%, which is to be expected as it could only benefit a small number of travellers. Related to this, CyIPT may propose two nearby schemes independently, where only one would in practice be needed due to their proximity; further work would be able to address this. Furthermore, as CyIPT uses data from the PCT it only considers commuters and thus the impact on other types of journey is not considered.
As expected the BCR results favour schemes that are close to the centre of major cities, illustrating the fact that there is most unmet demand near city centres. To some extent this result reflects the fact that the CyIPT is based on cycling levels from the commute layer of the PCT: using the planned school layer from the PCT Phase III will likely show a more nuanced distribution of BCRs also emphasising residential areas surrounding major schools.
An important aspect of the project was that the results were evaluated by key stakeholders at different points during the project. Zsolt Schuller, for example, provided feedback on the results for Exeter. Overall, he found the tool encouraged him to look at possible schemes that had previously been given little attention:
this could be useful even if just to act as leverage in encouraging Local Authorities to revisit locations of where schemes may or may not have been considered in the past (Zsolt Schuller)
More detailed feedback was provided for a number of specific roads, leading to some changes to CyIPT, and illustrating how CyIPT could be used in practice. The following quote, for example, refers to the results for Heavitree Road:
Highlights good options along long stretches of the route. Does still recommend lanes through a difficult section which is useful to generate discussion about what could be done (Zsolt Schuller)
Many other people provided formal and informal feedback on the project, including:
- Chris Mason, Bristol City Council
- Jonathan Fingland, Greater Manchester Cycle Campaign
- Simon Nuttall, Cambridge Cycling Campaign / CycleStreets
- Chris Peck, the LCWIP Consortium
5.1 The CyIPT workshop
A key part of the initial funding proposal was the presentation of the prototype tool to stakeholders working in the area of planning for active transport. To that end, an end-of-project workshop was held on the 23rd March in Leeds. 40 participants attended the event from a range of backgrounds, primarily local authority transport planners, transport planning consultancies, advocacy groups and academia.
To put the project in context we organised a range of speakers (not just from the CyIPT team) to present tools for the LCWIP process. Topics presented to attendees included:
- Overview of the landscape of tools supporting LCWIPs (Kaylisha Archer, DfT): 10:00 - 10:15
- The LCWIP process (Chris Peck, LCWIP Consortium) and Q&A on LCWIP (Adrian Lord, PJA and others): 10:15 - 10:30
- Network modelling to target cycling and walking policies (Crispin Cooper, University of Cardiff): 10:30 - 10:45
- How to design and build good walking and cycling infrastructure (John Parkin, University of West of England): 10:45 - 11:00
- How can the CyIPT help prioritise investments - a case study (Zsolt Schuller): 12:30 - 12:50
The afternoon of the workshop was spent using the tool. Participants split-up into teams of 4 - 5 and used the tool to help answer specific questions related to infrastructure prioritisation in a city of their choice. They also provided more formal feedback in a short survey, which provides a strong basis for next steps, discussed in the subsequent section.
Feedback from the survey was very positive, for example, all those who responded rated the schemes and recommended infrastructure layers as useful or very useful.
Pucher, John, and Ralph Buehler. 2008. “Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany.” Transport Reviews 28: 495–528. http://www.vtpi.org/irresistible.pdf.