Shared vs Segregated

• For the purpose of this document shared use is defined as a route or surface which is available for use by both pedestrians and cyclists. Within the highway, it is normally created by converting the footway using the power in Section 65 of the Highways Act 1980 (see Appendix C).

In urban areas, the conversion of a footway to shared use should be regarded as a last resort and should only be considered when options that reuse carriageway or other (e.g. verge) space have been rejected as unworkable.. Shared use facilities are generally not favoured by either pedestrians or cyclists, particularly when flows are high. It can create particular difficulties for visually impaired people. Actual conflict may be rare, but the interactions between people moving at different speeds can be perceived to be unsafe and inaccessible, particularly by vulnerable pedestrians. This adversely affects the comfort of both types of user, as well as directness for the cyclist.

Where a route is also used by pedestrians, separate facilities should be provided for pedestrian and cycle movements however shared use may be appropriate in some situations, if well-designed and implemented (see LTN 1/20 Chapters 6 and 8). Some are listed below: Alongside interurban and arterial roads where there are few pedestrians; At and around junctions where cyclists are generally moving at a slow speed, including in association with Toucan facilities; In situations where a length of shared use may be acceptable to achieve continuity of a cycle route; in situations where high cycle and high pedestrian flows occur at different times; and alongside busy interurban roads with few pedestrians or building frontages, Such facilities should be designed to meet the needs of cycle traffic – including its width, alignment and treatment at side roads and other junctions.

Recommended minimum widths of shared use routes carrying up to 300 pedestrians per hour are given in Table 6-3. Wherever possible, and where pedestrian flows are higher, greater widths should be used to reduce conflict.

Designers should be realistic about cyclists wanting to make adequate progress. The preferred approach for shared use routes is therefore to provide sufficient space so that cyclists can comfortably overtake groups of pedestrians and slower cyclists.

Research shows that cyclists alter their behaviour according to the density of pedestrians – as pedestrian flows rise, cyclists tend to ride more slowly and where they become very high cyclists typically dismount. It should therefore rarely be necessary to provide physical calming features to slow cyclists down on shared use routes.

Shared use routes in streets with high pedestrian or cyclist flows should not be used. Instead, in these sorts of spaces distinct tracks for cyclists should be made, using sloping, pedestrian-friendly kerbs and/ or different surfacing. Shared use routes away from streets may be appropriate in locations such as canal towpaths, paths through housing estates, parks and other green spaces, including in cities. Where cycle routes use such paths in built-up areas, you should try to separate them from pedestrians, perhaps with levels or a kerb.

Although there may be fewer cyclists and pedestrians in rural areas, the same requirement for separation from fast moving motor vehicles applies. A well-constructed shared use facility designed to meet the needs of cycle traffic – including its width, alignment and treatment at side roads and other junctions – may be adequate where pedestrian numbers are very low.

The design speed determines relevant aspects of horizontal and vertical geometry of cycle tracks. The design speeds in Table 5-4 should be used for cycle only tracks and for rural shared use facilities where there are few pedestrians – such routes should be designed as cycle tracks which pedestrians may lawfully use rather than a footway that can be cycled on. Cycle traffic should preferably be separated from pedestrian and equestrian traffic to avoid conflict and allow cyclists to travel at a comfortable speed (see Chapter 6). Where cycling is on-carriageway, it is assumed that the geometry provided for motor traffic will be adequate to cater for all types of cycle.