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Last edited 16 Oct 2020
Pop-up cycle lanes
In May 2020, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced £250m in emergency funds to be invested in infrastructure modifications that would support cyclists. This included the introduction of pop-up cycle lanes, wider pavements, safer junctions and bus-only corridors. In some instances, the pop-up cycle lanes would also be used as priority lanes for emergency vehicles.
The investment in this initiative has been incorporated into a £5 billion, five year funding package allocated for the redevelopment of bus and cycle links for every region of the country outside of London. These ‘Mini-Holland’ schemes are intended to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists in town centres across the country.
Other regions around the world including Belgium, Budapest, Bogota, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and New York City have also introduced pop-up cycle lanes to address transportation, environment and COVID-19 transmission issues.
 Cycle path identification
Pop-up cycle lanes are created by reclaiming space from automobiles on roads. This temporary measure is accomplished through the use of bollards, traffic cones or other devices to establish a safe lane for cyclists.
Both temporary and permanent cycle lanes are designated by markings to restrict motorised vehicles and inform cyclists and pedestrians. Cyclists are not required to use these lanes, although it is recommended.
Unless pavements are marked as shared spaces for cyclists and pedestrians, they should not be used by cyclists. In the case of shared spaces, pedestrians have right of way and cyclists must yield to them.
The government is using the pop-up cycle lane initiative as a method of encouraging cycling as a healthier form of commuting. The goal is to reduce demand for public transport while simultaneously decreasing the number of cars on the road. Longer term benefits include cutting pollution levels and supporting healthier behaviours.
The government is funding efforts throughout the country and is working with local authorities to improve both urban settings and smaller neighbourhoods. This is sometimes referred to as tactical urbanism, pop-up urbanism, DIY urbanism or guerilla urbanism, due to its relatively low cost and temporary nature.
- Widening pavements to support social distancing and increased pedestrian traffic.
- Creating low traffic corridors (cutting off side streets to through traffic) to accommodate foot and cycle traffic.
- Expanding the Santander Cycle hire scheme.
The temporary aspects of the Streetspace programme were announced on 6 May 2020. However, there is the possibility that some of the more beneficial improvements will become permanent. This will only take place after statutory consultations are held.
Those Streetspace cycle paths deemed successful will be added to London’s Cycleways (formerly known as Cycle Superhighways and Quietways). This collection of cycle lanes is being developed to connect communities, businesses and destinations across London in one cycle network.
On 19 March 2020, the London Cycling Campaign published the Climate Safe Streets report, outlining 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 occur in people who contract COVID-19. Increases in physical activity, such as cycling and walking, have been part of the Government's strategy to encourage exercise by making it safer and easier to cycle and walk in areas where paths were previously non-existent or unsafe.
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 one zero-emission transport city centre.
- Giving people access to bikes through GP prescriptions.
- Setting up a national e-bike programme to accommodate cyclists who may require assistance.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Are electric bikes the future?
- Cycle path.
- Cycle route.
- Cycling and walking plan.
- Dedicated and safe cycle lanes.
- Designing for cycle traffic.
- Gearing up for active travel.
- Right of way.
- Road traffic management.
- Sustaining walking and cycling measures after COVID-19.
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