Design major roads with us in mind say cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians

11 January 2018

Cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians need roads designed with them more in mind.

Transport Focus has looked into understanding how their needs, as well as drivers, can be better met in future road designs.

Since 2015 Transport Focus has represented all users of England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads, including cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians.

New road schemes or major upgrades should incorporate crossings for cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians, as well as segregated paths with minimal diversion from the intended route.

Transport Focus spoke to cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians in Dover, Manchester, Newcastle, Shoreham, York, Didcot, Lowestoft and Hastings to understand the issues and barriers that these users face when travelling along or crossing strategic roads.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:

“Cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians use many of Highways England’s major ‘A’ roads throughout the country on a daily basis. It’s important that roads are designed with them in mind as well as motorists.

“Our new survey will help improve understanding cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians’ priorities and make sure England’s major roads are not a barrier to their journeys.

“This insight should help Highways England and the Government to focus investment and effort on things that make a real difference for these road users.”

The report’s key findings include:

  • Highways England’s strategic road network is important to cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians as it affects their everyday lives
  • ​cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians share some common concerns that their specific needs are not explicitly factored into road designs
  • ​these groups of road users are willing to take part in further research into their needs and concerns.​

​Following on from this report Transport Focus will carry out a new survey measuring the level of satisfaction with journeys among cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians. This will be piloted in two areas of England later in 2018.

What users say

“You’re on the cycle path and then it just stops. You’ve got to cross a layby junction to get onto the flyover, to cross again, to go down the cycle path.” Cyclist, York

“Even if there is a pavement, they haven’t been maintained, they’re just in disrepair.” Pedestrian, Newcastle

“You’ve got to cross that main road and there’s nothing there to state ‘Horse riders, slow down!” Equestrian, Worthing


Notes to editors

Cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians: measuring their satisfaction with Highways England’s network report can be found here.

Transport Focus took on the responsibility for the National Road Users’ Satisfaction Survey in 2016 and is currently developing a new survey which will replace it in due course.

For further information please contact:

Kieran Watkins, Senior communications officer

Tel: 0300 123 0836 or e-mail:

Transport Focus is the independent transport watchdog representing the interests of:

  • rail passengers in Great Britain
  • bus, coach and tram passengers across England outside London
  • all users of England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads (the Strategic Road Network).

We work to make a difference for all transport users.

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