New Cycle Design Manual brings Ireland a step closer to international best practices

A new Cycle Design Manual has been published by the National Transport Authority — the guidance document is aimed at ensuring a higher standard of design for cycle routes and includes some international designs which were missing from previous guidance.

The manual includes design features such as protected junctions, Dutch-style cycle and pedestrian friendly roundabouts, and parallel crossings.

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The National Transport Authority (NTA) said that the Cycle Design Manual replaces the previous National Cycle Manual, which it published in 2011. The old manual is now withdrawn, the authority said.

The NTA said: “The Cycle Design Manual draws on the experience of delivering cycling infrastructure across Ireland over the last decade, as well as learning from international best practice, and has been guided by the need to deliver safe cycle facilities for people of all ages and abilities.”

The NTA said that the new manual “places more emphasis on the range of cycles” that infrastructure will have to accommodate and recommendations focus on segregating cyclists from traffic where speeds and volumes make roads unsuitable for sharing.

It said: “There is also a general presumption towards segregating pedestrians and cyclists where possible.”

The NTA said that the new manual “includes a number of new types of infrastructure such as protected junctions, Dutch style cycle-friendly roundabouts, and parallel crossings which are commonly used in other countries, and will now become an option for cycle infrastructure in Ireland.’

The NTA said: “It should be noted that some newer features will require amendments to supporting Regulations and the Traffic Sign Manual so designers should consult with the relevant approving authority prior to installing any of the newer features to ensure applicability of designs/solutions.”

The manual also includes what it terms as “legacy” design solutions, such as “Streaming lanes” — nicknamed as “murder strips” by campaigners, but the manual warns that these are not recommended, and should be removed and outlines measures to make them safer ahead of their removal.

The NTA added that the guidance is intended to be “a live document which will be updated and expanded as required to reflect emerging best practice and feedback from user experience of the manual”. It said that, for this reason, the latest version of the guidance should always be accessed through the NTA’s website.

Dave Toban, vice-chairperson of campaign group Cyclist.ie, said the group welcomes the public release of the long awaited Cycle Design Manual by the NTA.

Toban said: “This is an important document that will shape our cycling infrastructure for years to come in a more holistic and joined up manner than previous guidance.”

“We would like to thank the NTA Active Travel team working under Head of Active Travel Investment Joe Seymour for the ongoing consultation and engagement throughout the development process. They provided ample opportunities for all stakeholders including Cyclist.ie to feed into the development of the new manual to further strengthen it,” he said.

Toban said: “Feedback we have received from local authority Active Travel Teams and engineers across the country has been overwhelmingly positive and we hope to see the improved designs folded into upcoming projects as soon as possible.”

“We are particularly happy to see the commitment to protected junction layouts as the preferred standard going forward as well as the support for Dutch junctions which are presented as suitable for all signal controlled junctions in urban areas,” he said.

He added: “We’re also happy to see that the Cycle Design Manual is going to be a living document that will evolve over time to further promote good practice. We look forward to continuing to engage with the NTA team to strengthen the Cycle Design Manual over the coming months and years.”

The new manual can be found at nationaltransport.ie.

IMAGE: An example of a protected junction in which is included in the manual.

2 comments

  1. I trust that, as with motorists safety infrastructure (e.g. central median wire barriers), that these standards will be retrofitted to existing schemes in planning. Otherwise we’ll still be seeing murder strips etc. being installed for the next 5 years as old designed schemes are implemented.

    Reply
  2. A manual specifying Dutch style roundabouts and segregation – bring it on. With yesterday’s announcement on reduced speed limits hopefully the tide has finally turned for pedestrians and cyclists.

    Reply

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