Essex Cycle Route Hierarchy

Strategy behind the Standard

As with all elements of the transport network, different sections of the cycle route network serve different functions, and carry different expectations in terms of the level of service provided to the user. In the same way that users of the motorway network or the main line railway expect a faster uninterrupted journey than those using a country lane or a branch line, there are sections of the cycle network where user expectation is for a quicker, reliable journey and those where a more leisurely trip is desired.

ECC Recommendations

Refer to Map.Essex for the latest strategic cycle network in Essex.

New cycling infrastructure should be designed and prioritized in accordance with the Essex Cycle Route Hierarchy.

Any future scheme should aspire to be innovative, creative and use best practice.

How the Standard should be applied

All Cycling Infrastructure should form part of the strategic narrative for Essex. To ensure the scheme meets our strategic priorities, please refer to the Cycling Action Plans ( ), the LCWIPs for Essex ( ) and the Essex Cycling Strategy Leader for comment, who can be contacted at

All of the route types below can be fit the following Code of Practice Hierarchy Location Descriptions:

  1. Cycle Track shared/not shared use with footways, remote to carriageway
  2. Cycle lane shared use with footway adjacent to carriageway, segregated or un-segregated
  3. Cycle lane within carriageway, delineated by white line
  4. Cycle provision within carriageway, non delineated
  5. Cycle Trail through open spaces
Cycle Use Essex Cycle Route Hierarchy Essex Cycle Route Hierarchy Name Essex Cycle Route Hierarchy Description Example
High Use Cycle Routes PC1Primary Cycling RouteStrategic Cycling Routes linking main settlements and town centres, transport hubs and areas of high employment/education; e.g. LCWIP strategic corridors. In addition PC1 Primary Cycling Routes will include Core Cycling Routes linking to the Strategic Network PC1 NCR1 Writtle to Chelmsford City Centre plus Link Route connecting Beaches Road with NCR1 Writtle to Chelmsford City Centre
Moderate Use Cycle Routes PC2Link Cycle RoutesEssex Cycle Network (non PC1 routes).  This includes access for cyclists through road closures and vehicle restricted areas, contraflow facilities, short cuts through parks, quiet ways etc. (where lawful) Fifth Avenue Chelmsford, Manor Street Braintree, Parsons Hill/Beech Hill Colchester
Low Use Cycle Routes PC3Remote Cycle RoutesMay be leisure routes through open spaces in urban/rural localities (routes may not be maintained by the Highway Authority), or route on any part of the highway network not linking to dedicated cycle routes Flitch Way Braintree