How cities will change for e-scooters and cycle lanes

A study from Admiral car insurance has shown what city centres across the UK will look like if published plans are put in place to accommodate all road users, including cyclists, motorists, e-scooter riders and pedestrians.

As of July 4 the government started limited, legal trials of rented electric scooters on public roads, cycle paths and lanes as part of its review of transport following the easing of lockdown.

Admiral car insurance is calling on decision makers to commit to more permanent infrastructure plans to make road sharing safer for all road users and pedestrians.

Admiral car insurance has analysed plans published by cities across the UK to find out what the most common proposed planned changes are.

Taking the key findings from this extensive research, Admiral has re-imagined what cities across the UK and the rest of the world could look like in the not-to-distant future by redesigning their layout.

Clare Egan, Head of Motor at Admiral, said: “Many cities around the world have been quick to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and have brought forward some transformational plans to their transport structures aimed at tackling the climate crisis in the process. These changes, if implemented, will have a revolutionary impact on how we get around our cities and will affect everyone regardless of how they choose to travel.

“We recognise and understand that the way people move around is changing, and while for some these changes might only be temporary, for many they will prove to be a new way of living. The last few months have given us all a glimpse of the future with people opting for different ways to move around; from electric vehicles and e-scooters, to more traditional methods like walking and cycling. We believe decision makers in all cities should commit to more permanent infrastructure plans for more safe and sustainable travel for road users and pedestrians, and not just temporary plans. The world of transport is evolving quickly and cities need to evolve alongside it to meet demand and keep people safe.”

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Admiral found that all cities who have shared proposed changes are prioritising pedestrians and cyclists by adding cycle paths, widening pavements, closing key roads and extending time at pedestrian crossings.

Many cities planned to increase signage (21%) including adding social distancing signs and management of social distancing measures– including in parks, at bus stops and at pedestrian crossings. It also covered additional road safety posted in some cities.

Admiral research found that 37% of cities had planned to widen footpaths and pathways to allow for more space for pedestrians and for social distancing measures to be observed.

Elsewhere for pedestrians, 15% of plans discussed the need to adjust pedestrian crossings, including making changes to remove the need for people to touch any buttons in order to cross the road, as well helping to prioritise pedestrians and cyclist at crossings.

Pedestrianisation of key roads to make them more accessible and suitable for people walking was also a feature in 15% of the plans. Meanwhile, at least 10% of plans included details of one-way walking systems to enable social distancing measures to be observed.

A further 10% proposed removing street furniture to discourage pedestrians from sitting or congregating in certain spaces.

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Pop-up and temporary cycle lanes, as well as expanded cycle lanes throughout the city centre appeared in 31% of the plans analysed. Cycle lanes will also be shared with e-scooters following the government’s announcement to allow rented e-scooters to use the same road space as cyclists.

In addition, the same number of plans (31%) also included proposals to reduce, remove or repurpose parking in order to allow for widened footpaths or to stop the use of some parking bays.

Meanwhile, new cycle facilities were referenced in 15% of plans, including the need to create cycle parking spaces for cyclists to safely store their bikes. During lockdown Admiral revealed there had been a 46% increase in the number of bicycle theft claims.

How cities will change for e-scooters and cycle lanes

Over a quarter of the plans analysed (26%) by Admiral included changes to bus lanes and bus stops which ranged from creating bus gates, re-organising bus lanes and infill of bus pull-ins.

More than a fifth of plans (21%) included suggestions to close streets off to stop pedestrians or motorists accessing them. The rationale for these street closures ranged from closing streets where it was impossible for people to social distance, to closing roads at pinch points and timed road closures at certain hours of the day.

Traffic calming measures such as introducing 20mph zones were proposed in 15% of the plans, while road layout changes were mentioned in 10% of published city plans.

A further 10% of plans considered installing barriers to help separate and distinguish pedestrian areas from traffic, as well as adding barriers to bus lay-bys.

How cities will change for e-scooters and cycle lanes

Additional changes discovered as part of Admiral’s investigation into city plans included:

  • Re-routing traffic to free up carriageway space for businesses, pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users
  • Limiting access for private cars
  • Removing traffic lanes
  • Redesigning space around neighbour shopping centres

Steve Brooks, Sustrans Executive Director of External Affairs said: “It’s great to see Admiral, as a leader in business, embracing the changes we’re seeing in our towns and cities.

How cities will change for e-scooters and cycle lanes

“How people access their everyday needs, and move around cities, towns and neighbourhoods will play a vital role in helping the nation’s future economic recovery.

“Walking and cycling is an important part of urban resilience. It will play a key role in giving people the space they need to move around safely as we begin life in our new normal.

“We’ve seen an unprecedented level of active travel investment during lockdown. This new urgency to invest in walking and cycling as part of the response to the pandemic has the potential to transform the way we move, the way we live and the impact we have on the climate emergency.

How cities will change for e-scooters and cycle lanes

“We’d love to see other businesses adopting Admiral’s forward thinking approach.”

To see how your city could look visit: https://www.admiral.com/redesigned-cities-around-the-world

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