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Last edited 24 Oct 2022
A cycle path (or cycling lane) is a section of roadway reserved for cyclists. These paths can also be used by electrically assisted pedal cycles (EAPCs) that comply with the electric bikes section of the Highway Code.
Guidance on cycle infrastructure design was published in October 2008, produced through a partnership of the Department for Transport, Scottish Executive and the Welsh Assembly. It includes detailed explanations of the suggested parameters for cycle path planning across the country.
Before incorporating cycle lanes into urban plans, it is important to consider whether or not a cycle lane is truly beneficial. It is essential to take things like bus lanes, narrow roads and complex junctions into consideration during this planning stage.
The recommended width of a cycle path between two lanes of traffic is at least 2 metres if traffic is moving at speeds higher than 40 mph. This width allows cyclists to overtake each other when caution is exercised. Two-way cycle paths do exist, although they are not common.
 Cycle path identification
In London, Cycleways (formerly known as Cycle Superhighways and Quietways) are being developed to connect communities, businesses and destinations across London in one cycle network. The goal of this initiative is to create 450 kilometres of Cycleways by 2024.
On 19 March 2020, the London Cycling Campaign released its Climate Safe Streets report. This report outlines the city's plans to improve access for cyclists by creating 'a high-quality cycling network' and reducing carbon emissions caused by traditional motorised vehicles.
 Cycling to combat obesity initiative
On 27 July 2020, the Government announced plans to tackle obesity, which has been linked with complications that can occur in people who contract COVID-19. The Government's strategy includes encouraging exercise by making it safer and easier to cycle and walk in areas there are no suitable paths or facilities.
The initiative, which will cost £2bn, will include:
- Installing more cycle racks and storage hangars.
- Appointing a new inspectorate to oversee cycling infrastructure.
- Investing in long term cycling programmes.
- Changing the Highway Code to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians.
- Creating additional low traffic neighbourhoods and a zero-emission transport city centre.
- Giving people access to bikes through GP prescriptions.
- Setting up a national e-bike programme for cyclists who may require assistance.
- Bike repair vouchers worth £50.
 Other definitions
Temporary Traffic Management handbook, Keeping people safe at roadworks, published by Transport for London in 2018 gives the following definitions:
Cycle route: A continuous, linear series of links and junctions, signed and/or branded as a coherent facility from A to B; usually planned and delivered as a single facility or in identified phases. For roadworks that are local in nature, signing should make reference to cycle lanes or tracks as appropriate. Only when a substantial section of a defined route is diverted on to an alternative road would reference be made to a route
- Advisory cycle lane.
- Are electric bikes the future?
- Bike Week.
- Cycle route.
- Cycling and walking plan.
- Dedicated and safe cycle lanes.
- E-bike market projections to 2027.
- Gearing up for active travel.
- London Cycle Network.
- National trail.
- Permissive path.
- Pop-up cycle lanes.
- Right of way.
- Road traffic management.
- Sustaining walking and cycling measures after COVID-19.
- What should be in the second cycling and walking investment strategy?
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