What Are the Benefits of Cycle Lanes?
Did you know the UK’s first segregated cycle lane was built in London during 1934? Since then, UK cities and towns have seen significant development including improvements to road infrastructure and transport routes. Nowadays, cycle routes and lanes are a standard part of road infrastructure and used by cyclists on a daily or weekly basis. Aside from being specially designed for cyclists, well-constructed cycle lanes are more beneficial than you may think. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of cycle lanes for different road users, the economy and the environment.
Increases Safety for Cyclists
We have mentioned cycle lanes are specifically designed for cyclists, not only to provide better access, but to also increase their safety on the road. Every year, over 100 cyclists are killed on UK roads and more than a 1,000 cyclists are seriously injured. Many cyclists will agree they feel less safe on main roads because of uneven terrain, potholes, unpleasant behaviour from drivers and subsequent risk of a collision. Cycle lanes are built alongside main roads to reduce the likelihood of collisions with other road users, allowing individual cyclists or groups of cyclists to have a safer and more pleasant experience.
Reduces Traffic Congestion
A problem many UK road users face is congestion. Some people may believe that cycle lanes cause congestion because it takes up more road space and leaves less space for vehicles to overtake. However, these lanes act as the solution by encouraging more people to cycle to work or for leisure instead of driving, decreasing the number of vehicles on the roads in the long run and reducing the amount of congestion as well.
Improves Health & Wellbeing
In European cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam, they are known for being the most cycle-friendly places in the world as more than 50% of the citizens commute by bicycle. In the UK, many Brits believe their local area already has good cycling routes in place while others may believe their local area is not efficient enough for cyclists and they would like to see the addition of more cycle routes and lanes. Cycling is not only a way of commuting and general transport, but it is also a great example of physical exercise. Building more cycle lanes can encourage more people to commute by bicycle, improving their cardiovascular health and overall well-being.
Better For The Environment
Following the benefit of reduced congestion, this can have a positive impact on the environment. Cycling is a greener and more sustainable way of getting around because no fuel consumption is needed and less carbon emissions are produced, compared to driving a car. This reduces the carbon footprint of the general public as well as improving the air quality and noise pollution of the local area too.
Cycle lanes can also benefit the local economy. In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, switching from driving to cycling allows people to save money on fuel costs and other expenses. Additionally, building cycle routes and lanes is one of the best infrastructure investments because they are cost-effective and help to maxmine the durability of main roads and carriageways.
For Decorative Cycle Paths, Use NatraTex Colour
If you work as a surfacing contractor, you will know a high-quality surfacing product is crucial for cycle infrastructure to achieve all of the benefits above. NatraTex Colour is a fully-bonded and hard-wearing asphalt surfacing material used in areas where demarcation is needed such as cycle paths and lanes. Available in a range of colours including red, green and blue and 6mm or 10mm nominal aggregate sizes to suit all requirements. To see examples of projects completed with NatraTex Colour, read about our Selly Oak and Barking case studies. For more information, please read our surfacing guide for cycle paths. Otherwise, please get in contact with us and we will be happy to assist you.