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Better cycling infrastructure needed at junctions - Sustrans Scotland

Tuesday 23rd May 2017


Photo: Transport Scotland via Flickr.

Sustrans Scotland is calling for improved cycling infrastructure at junctions on the back of research showing roundabouts and T-junctions to be the main cycle collision hotspots in Scotland.

The paper, published by Sustrans’ Scottish Research Programme, identifies locations which have a relatively high number of collisions, compared to the amount of cycling activity in the area, between 2005 and 2014.

The research also assesses the severity of cyclist casualties at each location, scoring this against population size and the number of people in the vicinity who reported that they cycled to work in the 2011 Census.

Of the top 20 ranked locations for cycle collisions in Scotland, 19 were at a junction or within 20 metres of one. Roundabouts featured in eight of the 20 hotspot locations, while seven of the locations were at T or staggered junctions.

Sustrans Scotland says the research highlights the fact that in areas where cycling is more popular, the risk of collisions occurring decreases.

John Lauder, Sustrans Scotland national director, said: “Safety is often cited as the main reason why people don’t cycle for more of the journeys they make every day. This research highlights the importance of having high-quality cycling infrastructure in place at junctions, so that collisions can be prevented.

"We know that better cycle infrastructure increases the feeling of safety and ultimately the number of people on bikes. Through our Community Links, Street Design and National Cycle Network funding, which is provided by Transport Scotland, Sustrans helps to ensure this happens.

“Put quite simply: the more people in a place who cycle, the safer it becomes for everyone.”

The findings are set to be presented at the Scottish Transport Applications and Research (STAR) Conference in Glasgow tomorrow (24 May).


Want to know more about cycling and road safety?
Online library of research and reports etc - visit the Road Safety Knowledge Centre
Key facts and summaries of research reports - visit the Road Safety Observatory

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It's not just cyclists that would benefit from the improvement of junctions. All traffic would benefit. Many junctions are not maintained with painted white lines disappearing. Some give way junctions should now be stop junctions and all junctions in the main suffer with too many vehicles parked so close to them that drivers and riders visibility is severely impaired. We need to look at specific junctions. Ones that can be identified as a problem. Enforce the no parking rule within 32ft of the apex of a junction and that means that no vehicles should park that close to one. Maybe placing a single red line around the junction that legislation would identify as a no parking zone. That would at least identify the problem and make that junction more visibly open. It is difficult enough but with parked vehicles that are now much larger than when the 32 ft rule came out or other obstructive street furnishings, bus stops, litter bins, post boxes etc its getting more and more difficult to exit at a junction without driving forward into any oncoming traffic. Many drivers no longer stop at the white lines as they know they cannot see approaching traffic and therefore they pull out and stop or not and drive well into the road making the junction a more dangerous one.
Bob Craven

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