Building a workable cycling network isn’t just about keeping the existing “fit” cyclists happy – it is about providing access for all. When the road network is safe on a human scale, people will travel by whatever means they choose, rather than only by the least unpleasant option they have available. Equal access also means that access should be retained for motor vehicles as far as is possible. In many shopping areas, a complete ban on through motorised traffic might create the best all-round environment, but access to car parking spaces should always be available. In fact, in a city whe cycling rates are 1/4 to 1/3 of all journeys, there should always be a lot more road space freed up, and this should include creating better car parking facilities where they are needed.

2 thoughts on “Equal Access

  1. Hallo. I am ctc right to ride in Portsmouth. I am researching equality for non- motorised travellers, and work with 20s plenty. I see no mention of equality act 2010 , and public sector equality duty – s149. Do you use it to seek equality impact assessments when seeking pedal parity?

    • Hilary,

      To the best of my knowledge, there hasn’t yet been a direct challenge to a road scheme under the Equality Act that has gone to court.

      The closest I know of is the attempts by visually impaired users to challenge shared space schemes. This has resulted in new crossings being added, for example here in Coventry, but I don’t think this has specifically been due to the act.

      I know it is something Rachel Aldred has documented, but again, we’re all waiting for a test case.

      I have gone to Coventry planning committee and argued that there is an equality imperative to include cycle parking, even just for a change of use or modification of condition. I’ve got those changes made, but again, this is backed by (interpretation of) supplementary planning guidance anyway.

      My previous approach has been to use disability as the main argument, because I am unable to drive for this reason. It is only more recently that I’ve started to open this up to look at gender and age as protected characteristics, especially around schools.

      One possible way to bring a test case would be if the CTC were able to use their legal fund to do this. It would only take one judgement to show that there is indeed an equality duty on all road schemes, and that mere cycle “proofing” is not enough.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *