Cyclists, pedestrians, and equestrians across Yorkshire and the North East feel overlooked by road planners   

17 November 2021

Cyclists, pedestrians, and equestrians across Yorkshire and the North East feel road planners view their needs as less important than those of drivers. The independent watchdog, Transport Focus, spoke to people in the following locations to get their views:

  1. the A616 at Langsett
  2. the A64 between Leeds and York
  3. the A66 west of Scotch Corner
  4. the A19 around Cold Hesledon, Seaham
  5. the Silverlink Junction A19 / A1058 between Newcastle and North Shields.

Participants said they understood that cars, lorries, and motorbikes are the main users of National Highways’ roads. However, the absence of paths for those cycling, walking and on horseback make their own journeys difficult. The paths that do exist for them are felt to be poorly lit and badly maintained.

In terms of their physical safety, they expressed fear around fast-moving traffic. In addition, they found their personal security threatened when using dark, isolated routes.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of Transport Focus said:

“It is concerning that cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians in Yorkshire and North East not only feel less considered on the roads but unsafe too.

“This research will be crucial in helping National Highways focus its efforts and investment on improving the experience of this particular group of road users.”

Participants were invited to discuss possible solutions with National Highways. Suggestions included:

  • raising awareness of their presence to other road users with more signs
  • improving the maintenance of paths and foliage
  • more accessible points to cross busy roads.

This latest research follows similar insight into the experiences of cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians in the West Midlands, Berkshire, and Hampshire. Transport Focus has plans to look at other areas of England while continuing to work for improvement with National Highways.

View the report here.

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