How we’re working with Authorities to support safer cycling for all

Monday, 26 September, 2022
Header image of parent and child cycling

VivaCity Business Development Manager, Flora McFarlane, reflects on cycling statistics, how Authorities are optimising roads to make cycling safer for all and the role of robust, reliable and accurate data in sustainable transport innovation.

This week the Government released its final 2021 road casualty figures. Next week is ‘Cycle to School Week’ run by the Bikeability Trust supported by Sustrans.

As someone who believes that bikes really are the best way to get around, I know that if we’re going to get more people on board, then roads need to be safer to cycle on. Sadly, while cycling accident figures are also rising, the road safety statistics are pointing in the opposite direction. Post-covid travel patterns have seen an increase in car-usage, which means safety on the roads is now more important than ever. 

If we’re going to get more people – particularly future generations – on bikes, we know that we need to take steps to make it safer for everyone.

Sustainable transport interventions

The good news is that Authorities up and down the country are facilitating sustainable transport through positive, impactful interventions; schemes incorporating active travel prioritisation, road filtering, cycle lanes, and school streets.

We’re pleased to be working with these authorities to help with the success of their schemes; by putting in place robust, reliable and accurate data, officers across the country are evidencing the impact of their schemes through data. This data is shared with stakeholders such as Members, residents, and businesses, bringing community engagement alongside community enhancement.

Three ways VivaCity data is supporting cycling across the country

We’ve put together a few case studies to show how VivaCity data is helping Authorities understand behaviour, active travel trends, and evidencing successful schemes.

  1. Before and after analysis of Hounslow Council’s Liveable Neighbourhood Scheme showed an immediate increase of 26% in cycling in the area after changes were made to limit vehicular traffic. It was great to work with the borough to demonstrate that their scheme had made an immediate impact on safety and experience for people travelling actively in Chiswick.

  2. Bristol City Council decided to close one of its main bridges to motorised traffic, providing safer, faster access for bikes and pedestrians. VivaCity sensors were used as part of an in depth evaluation process to understand the impact on active travel flows. With the data showing a significant increase in cycling, the Council is now planning to build further protected infrastructure for people choosing to cycle in the area.

  3. Monmouthshire County Council introduced a cycle contraflow lane in Abergavenny town centre to make it safer and quicker to cycle in and around the town. Additional safety measures were implemented in the design, including carriageway narrowing which saw a reduction in vehicle speeds. Again it’s been fantastic working with authorities who are making big decisions to make it safer and more pleasant to cycle on their roads. 

Using datasets and road safety metrics to evidence impact

A big part of our job at VivaCity is about understanding what datasets are going to be most beneficial to the important work that Authorities are doing on our road networks across the UK and beyond. With over 100 Councils now trusting us to develop high quality, effective monitoring programmes, the future’s looking bright for delivery of much-needed change on our roads.

The graph above is an example of how VivaCity cyclist count data can be compared with weather data to identify correlations.

Our industry-leading AI sensors provide real time information on 10 different transport modes, giving insights on flows, speeds, movements before, during and after interventions. We’re not stopping there, though; we’re working with industry partners to start defining road safety metrics such as Near Misses to support Authorities in achieving Vision Zero as fast as possible.

If you’ve got active travel or road safety schemes that you’re considering implementing and want to show the positive impact they’re having, please do get in touch.  We’d love to help.

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