Excellent that Newcastle has secured £6 million for cycling from your Cycle City Ambition bid to DfT.A great achievement, and a terrific bid.Because of my LSTF expert panel role, I read a lot of local authority bids to DfT for funding, and this one definitely has the wow factor. The vision that you have for cycling in Newcastle is imaginative; I love that simple diagram that shows the cycle network that you are going to create, and which bits of it you’ll be able to achieve in the next two years. I think your aim to increase cycling by an extra 1.2 million trips, or 73%, in two years, is hugely ambitious and exciting.
The scale of your ambition is in line with the recommendations from the recent report of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group.
Seville:fourth largest city in Spain, population of 700,000. by 1990s, with a growing economy, there had been huge increases in car ownershipdespite some big roads, with a lot of space dedicated to cars, traffic congestion had become a major issue. Four rush hours per day, because of workers returning home for the traditional 2pm to 5pm siestagrowing pressure for something to be done.Cycling wasn’t seen as the natural solution to this. Mediterranean cities are unlike Dutch cities, in that there isn’t – or wasn’t – a cycling culture. And Seville is right in the south of the country; very high summer temperatures, so many people saw it as too hot a city for cycling to be attractive.
But in 2005, the city administration made a decision to go for it. They asked a small specialist consultancy called Estudio MC, led not by a traffic engineer but by a biologist, Manuel Calvo, to draw up a bicycle master plan, and to design more than 78km of dedicated cycle routes.Initially, Manuel and his colleagues proposed that the network should be built in two stages of 40km each, over a period of 8 years. But the city’s Head of Urban Planning and Housing vetoed those proposals, and told Manuel that he wanted the entire 80km built in a single stage, within two years. That was because the city administration was all too aware that it had to produce results within its four-year electoral term.
At the same time as opening the cycle network, the city introduced a bike-hire scheme, with 2500 bicycles available from 250 pick-up points around the city. That was hugely popular, with about a third of all bicycle trips in the city using the hire-bikes in 2010.The university offers free use of 200 folding bicycles to students and staff. The city centre bus station also introduced a free bike scheme for its passengers, with 250 bicycles available for bus passengers coming into the city centre to use to complete their journey.
What we all know Seville for is its oranges. Most of the main thoroughfares in the city are lined with orange trees. Those trees have a special interest for us, because they show the line where the edge of the carriageway used to be. As you can see here, what has happened is that road-space has been taken away from cars, and used to provide a 2.5 m cycle path. And that cycle path is itself segregated from the busy main road traffic….
…in some cases by a paved area which may be used for cycle hire points…
..in other cases, by a small kerb and line of bollards.The overall result is that cycling feels extremely safeIt is very visible to everyone, including motoristsAnd as you cycle around Seville, you see lots of older people, young people and women on bikes. Cycling isn’t just the preserve of young men in lycra. The percentage of female cyclists has gone up from 20% to 50%. In fact, Seville feels almost like a Dutch or Northern European city – apart from the sunshine.
So the crucial question, back here in Britain, is could we do the same here?In 2005, Cycling England decided that we wanted to find out. We funded six medium-sized towns, each at roughly £5 per head of population per year, with matched funding bringing the total up to £10 per head per year.The six towns were Darlington, Exeter, Brighton, Lancaster, Derby and Aylesbury.This graph shows what happened to cycling levels in the six towns. On average, cycling in the six towns increased by about 27% (the black line) over 4 years. All the towns showed an upward trend in cycling. The biggest percentage increase was in Darlington, 57%, but starting from a very low base.
So what was it that these 18 towns and cities did to get more people cycling? What was the secret ingredient of their success?
There was no single ingredient….for the perfect recipe all the ingredients matter.
There’s the social norm barrier. If you never see anybody else on a bike, you’re not very likely to start cycling yourself.Bristol tackled that through a very successful Cycling Festival.
When I visited Seville for a VeloCity conference in 2011, this is what the Mayor of Seville said…
If you would like to read more about how we can change from a car-addicted culture to a sustainable transport culture….there’s a whole book (electronic version as well).
Lynn Sloman 05 11 13
Love Cycling – Go Dutch!
Aim to increase cycling by 73% in two years - an extra 1.2
million cycling trips
Get Britain Cycling
• Cycling budget of at least £10
per person per year, rising to
• Local and national bodies to
allocate funds to cycling that are
at least equal to the proportion
of journeys by bike
• Funding from government
departments including Health,
Education, Sport and Business,
as well as DfT
• Is it really possible to create a culture of cycling in a
city that doesn’t already have it?....the story of how
the Spanish city of Seville ‘went Dutch’
• How quickly can you ‘grow’ cycling?....the experience
of the Cycling Demonstration Towns
• What are the key ingredients?...what we learnt from
the Cycling Demonstration Towns / Cycling City and
4th largest city in Spain (700,000 population)
Big roads…but also big traffic congestion
‘Too hot’ to be natural cycling territory
In six years:
0.2% to 6.6% of
(and from 2,500
cyclists per day)
Not just bike lanes…
• Bike hire scheme: 2500
bicycles at 250 pick-up
• Free use of 200 folding
bikes for university
students / staff
• 250 bikes for free use
from city centre bus
• 5700 cycle parking
How much did it cost?
140 km network
= €11 per citizen per year
Cycling Demonstration Towns
% change in automatic cycle counts (2005 = 100%)
Brighton and Hove
Lancaster w Morecambe
Sloman et al. (2009) Analysis and
synthesis of evidence on the effects of
investment in six Cycling Demonstration
Average annual change in average count per counter
6 CDTs and 12 CCTs
Average count per counter at baseline
Sustrans RMU and Sloman: unpublished analysis
What was the secret ingredient of their
For the recipe to work at all, there are
several vital ingredients that must act
Why is this?
Different ingredients added
together can tackle all the
different things that stop
someone changing to
What stops people cycling?
Habit: ‘I always drive’
Social norms: ‘All my friends
Knowledge gap: No
‘mental map’ of pleasant
Objective reality: Poor quality
cycle routes, busy
roads, dispersed development
‘No safe quiet route for the journey I make’
SOLUTION: High quality continuous ‘signature’
routes for all main radial corridors
‘The cycle route gives out and ‘dumps me’
just when I need it most’
SOLUTION: Advanced stop lines and cycle
crossings at main roads
Edinburgh. Credit: Tony Russell
Edinburgh: Tony Russell
‘There’s nowhere secure to park at my
SOLUTION: Cycle parking at key destinations
including employers and shops
Cleary Stevens Consulting
‘I don’t own a bike!’
SOLUTION: Bike loan scheme so you can
‘try before you buy’
‘I don’t know where the cycle routes go!’
SOLUTION: Widely distributed cycle maps +
comprehensive cycle route signage
‘I never see anybody else on a bike!’
SOLUTION: Cycling Festival – suddenly,
it seems like everyone is on their bike
‘I always get to work by car…it’s too much
trouble to change’
SOLUTION: Workplace Cycle Challenge –
encourage everyone to give cycling a go
So what have the Cycling Cities and Towns
Break habit: Give a reason
to try something new
Change the social norm:
Even if just for a day
Maps, signs, travel advice
Objective reality: Build good
“What we’ve done goes well
beyond more cycle tracks and
has become a tool to transform
the city. There has been an
extraordinary change of mindset.
We have won a challenge to
make our city more human.”
Mayor of Seville