Cycle paths development in urban design has been put more attention recently in order to deliver a concept of healthy lifestyle and sustainable development. However, cycle paths in the UK seems less developed especially compare with other Euro countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark, and Switzerland. According to statistics, the UK spends ₤2 per person per year on cycling which compare with ₤24 per person per year in the Netherlands.
Figure: Percentage of Children Cycling to School in Different Countries.
One possible reason of such trend in the UK could because of the heritage and culture. The planning system in the UK tends to keep the historical characteristics of places. Many developments are always required to maintain and redevelop such old buildings and streets. Meanwhile, lots of streets in the UK`s Cities are often two narrow for designing cycle paths. Meanwhile, cycling in the UK is always seen as unsafe transport tool. Cyclists are generally unwelcome on streets.
Figure 2: A comparison of Cycle routes in Euro and the UK
On cycle route in Dorset shire is famous as its wider than the vehicle rout. The designer states that when cyclists try to cycle the bike, the power they used might make them rocking, which could be very dangerous to the safety.
Figure3: Wider Cycle Route in Dorset shire
A currently cycle route development in London proposed a sky cycle route above the train station. The designer states that road network within central London is not suitable for proposing cycle routes as there are no spaces. With the safety consideration and local needs, it seems more appropriate to design a cycle route ‘in the sky’.
Figure4: Proposed Skycycle in London
Therefore, such phenomenon brings us a consideration how to design a cycle path in a UK City. It seems a trend that more neighbourhood design in the UK put cycle routes into consideration. However, the cycle routes design in a city or town centre might be different. The sky cycle provides a solution on solving the conflict between cycle paths and existing traffic network, nevertheless, the costs of such construction is extremely high, which means still not suitable for low investment project.