We are focussed on a number of key goals for Tunbridge Wells. These are not unique – we have drawn from best practice in towns and countries where cycling has been implemented successfully and to the benefit of all road users, including cars. There are six main goals, which have both financial, health and safety benefits.
Protected space on main roads
In all areas where the speed limit is above 20mph, cyclists and other non-motorised users (NMUs) should be entirely separated from the motorised traffic.
Protected space in towns
It is often difficult in towns to ‘squeeze’ pavement, cycle path and road traffic into a small space, especially in old towns. It is possible though, by re-thinking the channelling of traffic generally.
Protected space in the countryside
The country roads are the most dangerous for all road users where high speeds and poor conditions are prevalent. Separating the cycle paths from the road with physical barriers is the only way to allow cyclists and other NMUs to make use of these byways.
Cycle friendly town centres
Most (>60%) journeys are under 5 miles – a distance that is perfect for a bicycle. If more facilities were put in place for cyclists, the congestion in the towns would be reduced considerably – making it also more pleasant for the other vehicle users.
20mph speed limits
It has been shown that when the speed is limited to 20mph, not only are there considerably less accidents but accidents at those speeds are rarely fatal. Reducing the speed of traffic in the town centre would not affect the average speed of transit for the motor vehicles, but would have a very positive effect on NMUs
Safe routes to Schools
Obesity is a growing problem in the UK, and this starts young. Currently less than 1% of children ride or walk to school. This figure is more like 50-60% in cycle friendly countries such as Denmark and Holland. The health problems of the nation could be assisted dramatically by helping children onto their bikes by making it safer
Removing through motor traffic
In all towns where commercial areas have been restricted to pedestrians and bicycles, the shops have all benefitted from a massive increase in trade – up to 300% in some cases. Cyclists and pedestrians are more likely to stop and shop.
Cycling in the Green spaces
Many towns have beautiful green spaces that are underused as they are not accessible. Allowing for cyclists both to and in the green spaces opens up for some amazing transport and recreation possibilities.