Fundamental principles for cycling provision in East Sussex

2nd Edition – August 2013


These principles have been compiled by local cycling groups and in consultation with their members. They are intended to give basic guidance for the various planning departments to follow when planning or changing existing infrastructure. In this way there will be a more sustainable approach to a project, and opportunities will not be missed that could have facilitated cycling. They provide baseline guidance which can be adapted to each situation, thus promoting a “can do” approach to cycling.

Key concepts:

1. All traffic management and street design proposals should be assessed for their impact on cyclists. The design should consider best practice according to the latest guidance from the Department for Transport and the CTC, the national cycling charity (see references).

2. Local cycling groups have a great deal of experience. They should be consulted wherever traffic management and street design schemes are proposed.

3. Local cycling groups should be consulted on other proposals for cycling facilities, eg parking and signage.

4. Most people do not cycle because of concerns about safety. Safety features incorporated into traffic schemes would help encourage a modal shift to cycling. Sustrans has more information on this (see references).

5. There are many different types of people cycling. The most confident cyclists cycle in the flow of traffic. People new to cycling prefer traffic-free routes. Segregated cycle lanes need to be considered but are not the exclusive answer. In order for individuals to make the modal change to start cycling, cycling needs to be seen as an option for less confident people. Road junctions are a particular area of concern for beginner cyclists.

6. There is documented evidence from various U.K. towns and abroad of the interventions that are needed to facilitate a change in culture. This shows that cycling can be seen as a normal means of transport.

7. There is a great deal of evidence about how sustained changes in activity levels have a massive impact on physical and mental health, social inclusion and reduces costs for individuals and society. Economic analyses show the benefits of interventions to increase cycling repays costs ten-fold.

8. There should be better cross-boundary co-operation between highway authorities on cycle routes, way marking and maps.

Detailed Principles


1. Planning of cycle lanes should involve cyclists. Finish points should be carefully designed to incorporate options for cyclists.

2. Coloured cycle lanes improve the visibility of cycling.

3. There should be no parking in designated cycle lanes (24/7)

4. Clear signage of safe recommended cycle routes is needed, especially underpasses and cycle bridges. Simple, clear signage works well.

5. Priority should be with pedestrians and cycles at toucan and pelican crossings and any other crossing point. (In Cambridge there are lights triggered by approaching pedestrians and cyclists). Signs should reinforce this for motorists.

6. Advance stop boxes with feeder lanes at all traffic lights and railway crossings. (The Advance Stop Line aims to put a cyclist in front of the blind spot of a lorry. The feeder lane itself is a danger area, but often better than a cyclist between vehicles in very slow moving traffic). There should be a presumption in favour of providing Advanced Stop Lines (ASLs) on all arms of all signalised junctions.

7. 2-way cycling should be the aim for all streets. Contra-flow cycle lanes are feasible in many one-way streets. New one-way streets should not be created without consideration of possibilities for cycling.

8. There should be an end to unnecessary “Cyclist dismount” signs both by highway authorities and contractors. The presumption should be that cyclists will be enabled to continue their journey.

9. People are nervous of taking up cycling on roads due to the speed and volume of traffic. Introducing traffic calming and addressing inconsiderate parking would go a long way to encourage people to take up cycling as viable transport. Traffic calming needs to be cycle friendly. It can be a hazard to cyclists.

10. Paths should be opened up for shared use, especially twittens, where there is space. If barriers are considered useful to reduce speed, these should be of sufficient width to allow cyclists and those using mobility scooters or with pushchairs to use the path.

11. Where roads have been closed to change an old “rat run” to a cul-de-sac, there is scope to get a good low-traffic route. Dropped kerbs at the barrier would help access onto these by unconfident cyclists, pedestrians and those using mobility scooters or with pushchairs.

12. Dropped kerbs are very useful. They allow unconfident cyclists to walk their bike around a traffic hazard or young child cyclists to use a pavement for a short distance around a traffic hazard. They are also useful for pedestrians and those using mobility scooters or with pushchairs.

13. Cyclists should be permitted to use bus lanes.

14. Build-outs to be constructed wherever cyclists are expecting to join the flow of traffic and it is possible.

15. A pragmatic approach should be encouraged. Funding for cycling should have greater priority. With limited budgets, it is still important to make small improvements and get work started as this shows progress. Network links can be developed gradually.

16. Adequate cycle parking should be available in all public places. Staff often prefer secure covered parking whereas visitors need accessible cycle parking near the front of the buildings to which they can chain any part of their bike (eg hoops or “Sheffield stands”.

Schools, businesses and public sector:

17. Schools and employers should be rewarded for achieving targets in their healthy transport plans.

18. All large buildings should have visible accessible cycle parking at the front. Visitors and staff should see cycling to that destination as possible, welcomed and normal.

19. Businesses should be encouraged to promote ‘cycle to work schemes’ to promote a healthier workforce and reduce employees’ sick leave.

20. Businesses should be encouraged to finance cycle routes as an opportunity to compensate for their carbon footprints.

21. Adequate secure cycle parking should be a requirement in the event of planning permission for expansion. An adequate council budget is also needed for the installation of cycle parking close to cyclists’ destinations. All planning applications where there is public usage should include adequate cycle parking.

Motorists (including HGV drivers)

22. Motorists need education, especially to encourage them to have respect for cyclists as fellow road-users and to give them space and time.

23. Motorists’ education should reinforce the need to indicate and to look left before turning left. This should reduce smidsy “Sorry Mate I didn’t See You” (see

24. Motorists’ education should reinforce the need to look over their shoulder before opening their vehicle door.

25. Lorries should be equipped with the appropriate devices to see cyclists and mirrors to reduce blind spots.

26. There should be more cycle awareness in the driving test e.g. testing on giving space to cyclists and on how to overtake safely.

27. Junctions are a particular hazard for cyclists. Most KSI (Killed or Seriously Injured) collisions occur at junctions. In many areas in the UK parked vehicles causes a visual obstruction as well as a physical obstruction. In some instances a motorist pulls out without clear vision caused by an offending vehicle. There has recently been a campaign to ask drivers to be careful at junctions. More investment is needed in explaining the reason why no vehicle should be parked within 10 metres of a junction.

Other forms of sustainable transport:

28. The rail network should aim:

a. to have facilities to support cycling to and from stations at all times.

b. to be supportive of bikes on trains at all times

c. to provide adequate space for bicycles. Flexible seating may be an option.

d. to realise that it is important that bus replacement services (used during

e. to make ticketing / reservation of bike space should be possible and engineering works) also accommodate bicycles. simpler. Cyclists need to be able to undertake a long journey in the certainty that their bicycles will be carried for the length of the journey if they change trains.

29. A holistic approach favouring integrated transport solutions should be encouraged.

30. Innovative sustainable transport solutions eg electric bikes should be considered as part of a joined up approach. This is particularly useful in areas with hills. Electric bikes are attractive to those wishing to change to cycling but concerned about their fitness level and to people with disabilities.

Legal aspects:

31. We support a move in law to stricter liability, also known as proportional liability, so that the motor vehicle driver is assumed to be responsible for a crash (unless he/she can prove otherwise), and not the more vulnerable cyclist or pedestrian. This is the case in other countries, including the Netherlands.

32. Traffic law should be enforced where vulnerable road users are involved in crashes. Parking in cycle lanes and speeding offences should be followed up. Ensuring that the police act on cyclists’ reports of anti-social driving (e.g. via Operation Crackdown or other reporting) and that road traffic casualty data is correctly gathered and analysed is also extremely helpful.

33. We support the CTC’s Road Justice campaign:
and The legal system needs to prevent bad driving. Dangerous driving should not be dismissed as “careless” driving. The police should investigate all road crashes thoroughly and systematically, and pass all charging decisions to the prosecution services where there has been an injury. The prosecution of bad drivers should reinforce the message that it is unacceptable to endanger and intimidate other road users, not least cyclists and pedestrians who are disproportionately affected by road crashes. Irresponsible driving poses a disproportionate threat to pedestrians and cyclists and puts people off travelling by foot or cycle, despite its health, environmental and economic benefits.

34. Home Office guidance states that Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) should not be used for people cycling on the pavement “for fear of traffic” on that section of road. Whilst cycling on the pavement is illegal, cyclists need assurance that the police are applying Home Office guidance and only issuing FPNs for inconsiderate cycling, not just for those avoiding dangerous traffic conditions and causing no harm to anyone.

Promoting safety for people cycling:

35. There should be improved design of road junctions. This is where crashes are most likely to happen. The needs of a person on a bicycle should be considered at each. The priority needs to shift from motorists to pedestrians and cyclists.

36. We support the 20mph limit in urban areas. Speed reduction (“20’s plenty”) should also be considered in villages and anywhere where people are.

37. We support speed reduction on rural roads (e.g. to a maximum of 40 mph). This is important for East Sussex which is largely rural. The hazard from fast traffic is considerable.

38. We recommend “early green” phase cyclist traffic lights, with the green phase for cyclists in advance of that for motorists. This is best with a cycle slip enabling the cyclist to go forward independently of the motorist traffic lights (examples are seen on the Old Shoreham Road in Brighton).

39. The Driving Test Hazard Perception shows a cyclist as a Hazard. It should be recognised that it is not the cyclist who is a hazard. The mind-set needs to change so that the vehicle is perceived as the hazard.


Better and safer facilities for people cycling can be achieved with planning and forethought, often with little cost incurred.

Sources of further information:


BMA Healthy transport = Healthy lives (2013)

Sustrans review of active travel and health benefits:


CTC, the cycling charity:

Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK):


Road safety (Sorry Mate I didn’t see you)


Department for Transport, cycle infrastructure design (Oct 2008) and Sustrans review of Cycle Infrastructure Design (Dec 2008)

Cycle parking: Sustrans and CTC

Cycle parking: Portsmouth:

Traffic calming:

We support:

The Times Newspaper campaign “Cities fit for cycling” at:

CTC’s Road Justice Campaign

20 mph limit in urban areas and villages:

Contact details for Cycle East Sussex member Groups:


Battle, Robertsbridge and the surrounding 1066 area:

Lewes to Newhaven (Ouse Valley cycle network):




Seaford, Newhaven and Peacehaven:

Brighton and Hove:

Cycle East Sussex information: