Highways designers ‘must change approach to motorbikes’

A leading independent transport practice is calling for more attention to be paid to motorcycling when roads are planned and designed.

Local Transport Projects (LTP) recently authored Transport for London’s (TfL) Urban Motorcycle Design Handbook – a concise guide aimed at helping highways practitioners address the most pressing highway infrastructure issues affecting motorcyclists in the capital.

TfL is using the handbook to incorporate features into existing and future projects, and is promoting it to other traffic authorities and designers. LTP said the handbook is equally applicable to other parts of the UK.

LTP director Andy Mayo said there is potential for motorcycling to increase substantially in future, but pointed out that motorcycles already account for 21% of road fatalities in the UK, despite only accounting for around 1% cent of all traffic.

Mr Mayo said: ‘This is something that really needs to change. To put this into context, in 2015 there were 387 cyclists killed or seriously injured on London’s roads, for a mode share of 2%, compared with 540 motorcyclists and a 1% mode share.’

Although he acknowledges that better highway design will not eradicate the problem, he pointed out that techniques in the TfL handbook can be utilised all over the UK to reduce the likelihood of collisions involving motorcycles.

It covers areas such as factors affecting the road surface and grip, visibility, roadside features and the design of traffic calming measures.

Lilli Matson, TfL’s head of strategy and outcome planning, said: ‘By working with outside organisations to provide training and guidance on highway design, we can work together to reduce road danger for all motorcyclists.’

LTP provides transport planning, traffic engineering and highway design services. It is also involved in designing and developing infrastructure for cyclists and is currently working on the Quietway cycle project in London.

 
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