Green Cities Fit for Life

Image by Jean-Dominique Billaud

Nottingham breaks ground on Cycle Super Highway

In Nottingham, England, work has commenced on the first ‘Cycle Super Highway’ in the city after a £6.1 million plan to improve cycling infrastructure was recently approved.  The project will result in the construction of four commuter cycle corridors, upgrades and improvements to existing cycling infrastructure and the introduction of an additional greenway, linking parks within the city. All of the works form part of the Nottingham Cycle City Ambition Programme (NCCAP) without funding from the UK Department of Transport. The NCCAP is instead funded by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, a collaboration of local organisations and authorities, businesses and community groups in Nottingham and adjoining Derbyshire.

Artist's impression of proposed cycle lane construction in Nottingham. Image courtesy of Nottingham City Cycling Design Guide.

Artist’s impression of proposed cycle lane construction in Nottingham. Image courtesy of Nottingham City Cycling Design Guide.

Chair of D2N2, Peter Richardson, hopes the developments and improvements will have a positive effect on citizens’ health and reduce traffic congestion, with the latter leading to the associated economic benefit of quicker movement of goods and people. He stated that: “Less air pollution makes the city more attractive to live in, having long term economic benefits”. Councillor Nick McDonald, Nottingham City Council’s portfolio holder for growth, jobs and transport commented: “The start of the cycle super-highway roadworks is a really exciting development for the city. The route links up the University of Nottingham to the city centre. We know it will prove to be popular with commuters and leisure cyclists, and provide a real showcase to demonstrate how high we are setting our standards for Nottingham’s cycling future”.

Using the London cycle superhighways as a reference point, John Bann, cycling and road space manager at Nottingham City Council, has highlighted the highway will act as express routes for commuters to get into the city from the ‘four points of the compass’.

In parallel with the project, Nottingham City Council is also preparing a cycle route design guide, outlining how the facilities will be developed over the coming year and has also sought feedback from cyclists and other road users. Whilst the guide is based on the Sustrans National Cycle Design Guide, it will include additional sections to deal with localised issues regarding Nottingham’s transport systems. The Council is hoping that the guide will raise national design standards and act as a best practice guide. The draft of this guide can be viewed here.

Part of the ambitious plans is segregated cycle lanes. Image courtesy of pedals.co.uk

Part of the ambitious plan is segregated cycle lanes. Image courtesy of pedals.co.uk

Part of the NCCAP is an additional expansion of the Citycard Cycle Hire scheme – which provides bikes for hire. The success of such initiatives in cities such as Paris, Milan and Dublin has indicated that the expansion of these programmes fosters more bicycle users.  You can find more information on the Nottingham Cycle City Ambition Programme here.