Agenda item

North Tyneside Cycling Strategy

To seek approval to commence engagement on an updated North Tyneside Cycling Strategy and an updated version of the associated North Tyneside Cycling Design Guide, which sets out design standards for cycling provision.




Cabinet received a report which sought approval to commence engagement

on an updated North Tyneside Cycling Strategy and an updated version of

the associated North Tyneside Cycling Design Guide, which sets out the

standards for cycling provision.


In October 2021, Cabinet approved the revised and updated North Tyneside Transport Strategy. Its vision is “Moving to a green, healthy, dynamic and thriving North Tyneside”.


Its key principles included reducing carbon emissions from transport and improving health outcomes. This linked to ‘Equally Well’, the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy, and its strategic ambitions of supporting equal life chances for all, thriving places and communities and maintaining independence.  It also complemented the regional North East Transport Plan developed by Transport North East and its aims of supporting the decarbonisation of transport and encouraging active travel.


The North Tyneside Transport Strategy contained a commitment to update, where appropriate, the specific strategies and plans which fit within the context of the Transport Strategy. One of these is the North Tyneside Cycling Strategy, adopted in 2018.  Everyday cycling was a healthy, sustainable and affordable way to get to work, school or the shops, for people of all ages. Cycling in the borough continues to grow, having increased by more than 60% in the four years since the current Cycling Strategy was adopted.  In that time the Authority had expanded the delivery of Bikeability cycling training in schools, while the annual Summer of Cycling campaign had seen a rise in popularity and attendance. The Authority had delivered new cycling routes, such as a cycleway alongside A189 Salters Lane in Longbenton, and put in place improvements for cycling and walking provision as part of its regeneration activity, such as at Howard Street in North Shields.


Cabinet’s approval was sought to commence consultation on an updated North Tyneside Cycling Strategy and an updated version of the associated North Tyneside Cycling Design Guide, which sets out design standards for cycling provision.  Updating the strategy would ensure that it continued to support the commitments in the Our North Tyneside Plan 2021 to 2025 toincrease opportunities for safe walking and cycling. This included providing a segregated cycleway at the coast,and publication of an action plan of the steps the Authority would take, and the national investment it will seek, to make North Tyneside carbon net-zero by 2030.  It would also reflect the Authority’s declaration of a climate emergency, made in July 2019, and the aims of the North Tyneside Local Plan, which commits to provide infrastructure and facilities which increased the opportunities for, and attractiveness of, cycling; give greater priority to people cycling, walking and wheeling; and incorporated improvements for these modes of transport as part of other transport schemes. The updated draft Cycling Strategy sets out the outcomes which it seeked to achieve, which fitted with the aims of our Transport Strategy: i) helping more people to cycle; ii) helping to improve cycling safety; iii) designing cycling into our highways, infrastructure and regeneration investment; iv) delivering a continuous network of strategic and local cycle routes; and v) helping more residents to be physically active, and businesses to adopt sustainable modes of transport such as cargo bikes.


It sets out the following actions which were intended to be delivered over the period of the strategy:


Action 1 – Support a change in culture which prompts a switch to cycling as a healthy and sustainable way to travel, delivering initiatives such as cycling training.


Action 2 – Develop a network of routes suitable for everyday cycling, designed in line with good practice’


Action 3 – Make our town centres and destinations accessible for everyone cycling, including e.g. visitors to the borough; people using adapted cycles; and businesses using cargo bikes’


Action 4 – Improve connectivity between cycling and other forms of transport, making it easier to cycle as part of a longer journey.


Action 5 – Design everyday cycling into our infrastructure and regeneration plans and use digital information so that the highway network better serves people cycling.


The updated draft strategy sets a target for an annual increase in cycling trips of 10%, increased from 7% in the existing strategy, to reflect progress achieved to date and the scale of the Authority’s ambitions. The revised list of indicators of success: i) more cycling trips are being made in the borough – the strategy aimed for an increase in cycling trips of 10% per year; ii) there was greater participation in cycle training and in the Go Smarter in North Tyneside and Active North Tyneside programmes; iii) more workplaces in the borough had the facilities and initiatives to encourage cycling to work and as part of their day-to-day operations (e.g. cargo bikes); and iv) the borough’s cycling infrastructure was improved in line with good practice to create a continuous network.


The national Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, and the Department for Transport’s cycling and walking plan ‘Gear Change’, encouraged local authorities to carry out an assessment of strategic cycling routes and town centre walking routes. This was known as a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP). This approach demonstrated that a strategic approach had been taken to identifying cycling and walking infrastructure improvements. LCWIPs refer specifically to infrastructure, and hence did not cover other types of initiatives such as cycling training or promotional measures.


North Tyneside’s network of strategic cycling routes had already been defined by the Authority, and these were shown in the form of a ‘tube map’ in the existing Cycling Strategy. In addition, supporting walking, wheeling and cycling improvements in the borough’s town centres already forms part of the aims of the Local Plan and the Authority’s regeneration plans set out in the Our North Tyneside Plan and ‘An Ambition for North Tyneside’, the Regeneration Strategy.  As such, by using the existing ‘tube map’ and plans for town centres as the basis to develop an LCWIP in accordance with Government guidance, the Authority can ensure it was well placed to make the case for future investment in cycling, walking and wheeling provision, from both Government grant funding and developer funding secured through the planning process.


The proposed LCWIP formed an appendix to the Cycling Strategy. In line with Government guidance, it first sets out how the supporting information was gathered. For the cycling routes, it described how a Government-endorsed software tool was used to assign a prioritisation score and notional cost range to sections of each route. The next section then described how a similar process was undertaken for walking routes in town centres. The document concluded by briefly setting out how this work would be used to support applications for external funding and the delivery of the Authority’s investment plans.


The North Tyneside Cycling Design Guide sets out the design standards which the Authority would require, both for its own infrastructure works and for those delivered by developers. The design guide, which was adopted in 2018, had been updated to reflect more recent developments in good practice, including the publication in 2020 of relevant national guidance, Local Transport Note LTN 1/20 ‘Cycling Infrastructure Design’. The updated draft Design Guide sets out detailed standards for the design of cycling provision on the highway network; in areas of residential streets; and on off-road routes away from motor traffic. It then sets standards for various other aspects of design including junctions and crossings, cycle parking, signage, and construction and maintenance.


It was anticipated that, subject to approval of the recommendation, public engagement on the updated draft Cycling Strategy (including the LCWIP) and Cycling Design Guide would be carried out over a period of c.6 weeks in October-December 2022.  Details of the engagement process would be communicated by means such as a news release and messaging via the Authority’s social media accounts; local groups involved in sustainable and active travel would also be advised of the engagement process and encouraged to share details with their supporters.


Resolved that a process of public engagement be carried out on the updated draft North Tyneside Cycling Strategy, attached as Appendix 1, and incorporating the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP), and the updated draft North Tyneside Cycling Design Guide attached as Appendix 2, be approved.



Supporting documents: