If you live on or near a busy road, cycling around your community can be difficult and dangerous. Cars now dominate many of our streets, making them unsafe places for pedestrians and cyclists.
Pockets of communities around the UK have worked to create cycling-friendly environments where it is possible for children and adults to cycle to their friends’ houses in safety, or pop round to the corner shop. ‘Home Zones’ have been built with very low speed limits, wide pavements, chicanes, trees and plant pots, road signs, and other design measures that show drivers this is a ‘community space’ and not a ‘through road’. In some rural areas ‘Quiet Lanes’ have been designated, which aim to give priority to walkers, cyclists and also to horse riders.
In 2000, the Transport Act gave local authorities in England the power to designate Home Zones in residential areas and ‘Quiet Lanes’ in rural areas. On these roads the whole space is available for a range of different uses, not just traffic. [i]
Case study: The Methley’s neighbourhood in Leeds was one of the first Home Zones in the UK. Following consultation with residents, Leeds City Council installed traffic calming measures, including a village green area. In a recent opinion poll, 92% of residents who voted said they liked the changes.
www.homezones.org for more information on Home Zones.
Department for Transport Guidance for Local Authorities on Setting Speed Limits (circular 1/06) includes guidance on Home Zones, Quiet Lanes and 20mph limits in communities. Useful for quoting when talking to your local authority.
Brake’s ‘concerned community’ web pages to help you campaign for safer streets in your community.
[i] Department for Transport Circular, 02/2006: The Quite Lanes and Home Zones (England) Regulations 2006