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This section describes a process for identifying alternative ways to satisfy the needs of the different people who will cycle on a route. This must be done in a context that considers the level of service (LOS) priorities of all user groups. Optimal road space allocation should be addressed at the high-level planning stage, ie in network operating plans (NOPs). By continually developing NOPs, a more appropriate approach to road space allocation can be achieved, within the constraints of the One Network Road Classification (ONRC), which specifies more generic levels of service for various user groups. 

  • Identifying opportunities for cycling

    This involves considering the following aspects:

    GIS can be a useful tool in combining many of these aspects in a way that they can be analysed together. Martin (2015) gives a good example of using GIS to assess the appropriateness of a planned cycling network; the same technique could be used to identify possible route locations in the first instance.

    From this assessment, opportunities for upgrading existing routes or developing new routes can be identified. All should provide an appropriate LOS for cycling and be economically feasible; an iterative process may therefore be necessary, as it may not be possible to achieve a solution that satisfies all the needs, objectives and constraints identified initially.

    Table 4: Factors to consider during route option assessments

    • Traffic speeds
    • Traffic volumes
    • Traffic composition, especially percentage of heavy vehicles
    • Other road/path users’ demands and requirements
    • Crash history
    • Road user hierarchy (from Network Operating Plan)
    • Public transport priority measures


    • Route/road cross-section measurements
    • Topographic and land use information
    • Parking controls
    • Access and parking demand characteristics
    • Intersection layout details
    • Key infrastructure details
    • Local traffic calming measure
    • Historic and cultural heritage
    • Landscape amenity
    • Urban design
    • Existing provision for cycling
    • Drainage and utility services
    • Public lighting
    • Property driveway frequency / positions
    • Traffic management controls and operational details, for example traffic signal phasing
    • Crime prevention through environmental design
    • Planning regulations
    • Local initiatives and developments
    • Local technical requirements
    • Applicable route design guidelines
    • Land ownership
    • Land owner requirements
    • Other future transport and land use proposals
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  • Retaining existing cycle corridors

    In addition to identifying new cycle routes, it is important to protect existing cycling corridors. Some existing reserves that are surplus to recreation space requirements have been sold off for general urban development purposes, despite the existence of longstanding cycle routes, possibly because these routes had not been officially designated.

    It is important that formal planning documents such as district plans and/or reserve management plans recognise all routes that are well used or have significant potential for cycling. This will ensure future development proposals accommodate cycle routes rather than obstruct them.

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  • Key infrastructure opportunities

    It is interesting to note that property developers have funded some cycle route improvements, where existing routes were recognised in district plans or reserve management plans.

    Table 5  lists some key infrastructure or features that can be central to developing cycle routes. These features are often so strategically important that entire routes are planned around or heavily influenced by their existence. New projects involving these features should always incorporate provision for cycling.

    Table 5: Key infrastructure that influences cycle route development opportunities

    Grade-separated facilities

    Route opportunities

    Transport interchanges

    • Road tunnel
    • Pedestrian overpass
    • Pedestrian underpass
    • Road bridge, to which a cycle platform could be attached
    • Viaduct
    • Traffic signals
    • Service road
    • Lane
    • Pedestrian alleyway
    • Historic structures
    • Railway station
    • Ferry service
    • Airport
    • Park-and-ride station/public transport interchange



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  • Opportunities identified

    This process should have identified opportunities for upgrading existing routes or developing new routes. All options identified should provide an appropriate level of service for cycling, must be feasible and must provide value for money.

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