Drivers call for investment in segregated cycle routes

News from Brake
Thursday, 8 March 2018
The UK’s single-carriageway A roads are not fit for cyclists and building segregated cycle routes should be the Government’s priority for roads investment, a survey of over 1,000 drivers for Brake and Direct Line has found [1].
Drivers have stated that the 60mph speed limit on single-carriageway A roads is too fast to assure the safety of cyclists and that both the warning signs and space available for cyclists are inadequate. This sense of risk is echoed by the overwhelming majority of survey respondents stating that they would advise children or teenagers never to cycle on single-carriageway A roads or only to cycle with an adult.
Drivers have called on the Government to address these concerns by prioritising investment on building segregated, tarmacked cycle paths alongside the single-carriageway A road network, over and above any expansion of the road itself. Brake and Direct Line’s survey finds that such investment would significantly increase the numbers of those cycling, as whilst 70 per cent of drivers state that they currently never cycle on single-carriageway A roads, more than half state that they would be persuaded to if there was a demarcated space for cyclists.
The Government is currently consulting on billions of pounds of investment in both the Strategic Road Network [2] and the Major Road Network [3]. Every road death is a preventable tragedy and the Government must focus investment on delivering safe, sustainable transport options across the UK.
Joshua Harris, Brake’s director of campaigns, said: “Getting more people cycling is a win-win for the Government, delivering both personal and public health benefits. Contrary to popular opinion, our survey shows that the majority of drivers are willing to switch modes and cycle if safe facilities are available. We echo the call from drivers and urge the Government to prioritise investment in safe, segregated cycle routes in the upcoming Road Investment Strategy.”
Gus Park, managing director of motor insurance at Direct Line, said: “All road users should be able to undertake their journeys safely.  Many who would cycle, choose to drive instead as they feel some roads are just not safe enough for them to use. Single-carriageway A roads are vital arteries within our road infrastructure, but they need to ensure they can accommodate all road users regardless of their preferred method of transport now and in the future.”
For further information please contact: Joshua Harris, director of campaigns, Brake
Notes to editors: 
[1] Full survey data available in Brake and Direct Line report “Our Strategic Road Network - PT. 1: Safe roads between places”, with key survey excerpts detailed below.
About Brake
Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.  We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
About Direct Line
Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or online.
Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by UK Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. UK Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting
Survey excerpts:
  1. 60mph speed limits are too fast to assure the safety of cyclists on single-carriageway A roads

Strongly agree

25.46 %



32.96 %


Neither agree nor disagree

25.56 %



12.37 %


Strongly disagree

3.65 %


  1. Warning signs telling drivers to look out for cyclists don’t help protect cyclists on bendy single carriageway A roads

Strongly agree

27.38 %



41.18 %


Neither agree nor disagree

23.83 %



6.19 %


Strongly disagree

1.42 %


  1. There is not enough space for cyclists on single-carriageway A roads

Strongly agree

33.06 %



41.28 %


Neither agree nor disagree

19.88 %



4.56 %


Strongly disagree

1.22 %


  1. What, if anything, do you tell your children/teenagers about cycling on single-carriageway A roads?

I tell them these roads are dangerous and warn them not to cycle on these roads ever


I tell them these roads are dangerous and warn them to only cycle on these roads with me or another adult


I tell them these roads are dangerous and tell them to take care on these roads


I tell them it is safe to cycle on these roads


I don't talk to them about cycling on single-carriageway A roads




  1. If you were the Government, and you had a limited amount of money to spend on improving single-carriageway A roads, which of the following would you prioritise?

Providing segregated cycle paths, made of tarmac, separated from the road by a large and raised kerb or a grass verge, or following an entirely different route (to reduce traffic and emissions and enable healthy cycling)

53.25 %


Making them dual carriageways with central reservations and crash barriers (to give similar safety standards for vehicle occupants as on motorways, and increased space for vehicles)

24.95 %


Neither of the above - I wouldn't change single-carriageway A roads

21.81 %


  1. Do you ever choose to cycle instead of driving on single-carriageway A roads?

Yes – frequently (I cycle on single-carriageway A roads more often than I drive on them)

6.49 %


Yes - often (I cycle on single-carriageway A roads about the same number of times as I drive on them)

7.30 %


Yes – sometimes (I drive on single-carriageway A roads more often than I cycle on them)

10.04 %


Yes – very infrequently (I hardly ever cycle on single-carriageway A roads)

6.09 %


No – I never cycle on single-carriageway A roads

70.08 %


  1. Which of the following improvements would persuade you to consider cycling more often, or at all, on the single-carriageway A roads that you use?

A well-maintained tarmac path for cyclists, separated from the road by a large and raised kerb or a grass verge, or following a different but equally direct route

35.09 %


A wider road with a painted line on it to mark a cycle lane from the lane for motorised traffic

18.15 %


Nothing - I would never cycle on a single-carriageway A road

46.75 %


Tags: road safety speed cycling place for people infrastructure cycle path